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Ex-Uganda refugees reject cash offer, threaten to go back

Kenyan refugees who returned home from Uganda on Tuesday have rejected a Sh60,000 payment and demanded Sh400,000 per family or they go back to Uganda.

The 705 returnees at a temporary camp at Malaba in Teso North Sub-County termed the offer a joke.

The returnees were to leave the camp on Thursday to give room to the last group.

Before leaving Uganda, they were each given $50 (4,700) by the UNHCR while the Kenyan government pledged to pay them Sh10,000 and Sh50,000 later.

It would also provide transport to their preferred destinations and free food for three months.

Mr John Njoroge, secretary of the returnees committee, said Sh600 million was set aside for resettlement of IDPs in this financial year’s budget.

LEAVE THE CAMP

“President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to pay each family Sh400,000,” he said.

Committee chairperson Ruth Irungu said they want all the money now.

However, Commissioner for refugees affairs in Kenya Haron Komen insisted they must leave the camp.

He said those threatening to return to Uganda were free to do so but would no longer be treated as refugees.

Some of the returnees are said to be Malaba residents who travelled to Uganda a few days before the repatriation so as to be paid.