27th February 2021
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Refugees accuse hosts of ‘taking back land’ before harvests

Author: Ayite Susan | Published: Saturday, February 20, 2021

Bidi Bidi Refugee settlement in Uganda. Credit | Courtesy

Some South Sudanese refugees in Bidi-Bidi settlement camp have accused the host communities of taking back their land before harvest time.

The local community often leases the land to refugees to cultivate.

Most of the refugees cultivate tomatoes, peas, and other vegetables to supplement the food distributed by UN agencies.

But the refugees have reported that some landowners come to reclaim the land early before the refugees can harvest their produce.

Faustino Wari, a land surveyor in the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement camp said the practice leaves refugees frustrated.

“Some landlords have given refugees pieces of land to engage in agriculture, but before the season ends, they have to chase them away,” Mr. Wari told Eye Radio on Friday.

“Some of them are not really landlords, they are host community leaders, some of them are land users, you know the problem here in west Nile is a system of customary land ownership. Everyone claims ownership of the land.”

Bidi Bidi refugee settlement camp is home to more than 270,000 South Sudanese refugees who fled the war in 2016.

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