» Introduction
Government of Uganda's Responsibilities
UNHCR's Responsibilities

The Plight of Achol-Pii Refugees and Refugee Policy in Uganda

May 2003


In April 2003, Uganda's newspapers published stories about the expulsion of the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from Uganda (The Daily Monitor, 15th April 2003; The Sunday Monitor, 27th April 2003; The New Vision Tuesday, April 15th 2003).

We were told that this was because he apparently "objected to government's intent to transfer 16,000 Sudanese refugees from Kiryandongo in Masindi to West Nile." The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Lt. Gen. Moses Ali concluded, "We think his continued stay here was counter-productive to the refugees, the country and the existing good relationship between Uganda and the UN Refugee Agency. It is only logical that he leaves the country and tries his luck elsewhere." (The New Vision)

This briefing attempts to set the expulsion of the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Uganda in the historical context of the plight of the Achol-Pii refugees, highlight the contradictions in both Government and UNHCR policy towards protection of refugees in Uganda, and make brief recommendations.