Africa’s largest host of refugees accused of inflating figures

South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

Uganda has been accused of inflating the numbers of refugees in the country which is the largest host of displaced people in the continent.

Four government officials have been suspended pending an investigation into the allegation which includes the abuse of funds set aside for the refugees, reports local newspaper Daily Monitor.

The newspaper indicates that the suspicion was first raised by the UN country representative Rosa Malango who wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda whose office is in charge of refugee affairs.

Ms Malango is reported to have cast doubts on “the number of refugees in Uganda; abuse of funds and other resources by some officials and suspected trafficking in girls and women refugees” after a periodic review..

A spot-check of the number of refugees in a camp in Kampala found only 7,000 refugees showing up for provisions out of the 26,000 documented on paper which suggests an inflation in the figures.

The investigation is expected to establish if some UNHCR officials also connived with the officials in the Office of the Prime Minister, the paper added.

The BBC reports that donors including the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom have threatened to withhold funding to the country.

The state minister for relief and disaster preparedness Musa Ecweru assured that measures including biometric registration for all refugees would be done to prevent any fraud in future, he told The Guardian.

Uganda is host to some 1.4 million refugees mostly from South Sudan and DR Congo, UN reported last year.

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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