By Kobusiinge Monica
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has opened a new refugee reception centre for refugees fleeing civil strife in South Sudan.
The reception centre, located in Ododo Village, Lamwo Town Council, was opened recently following the influx of South Sudan refugees fleeing from fresh violence in the neighbouring Torit State.
The land for the centre measuring 300 metres by 500 metres was offered by the community.
Mr Julius Kamuza, the Palabek Refugee Settlement Camp commandant, on Tuesday said that the centre will receive refugees fleeing through Waligo, Ngomoromo, Aweno Olwi and Madi-Opei border points.
He said at least 600 South Sudan refugees have been received at the reception centre in one week alone ever since it was opened.
“We decided to open a new reception centre in Lukung because it is closer and very strategic to all the four border points. It will help us to attend to the refugees’ crisis immediately at the border than when they are taken up to Palabek,” Mr Kamuza said.
“The new centre will make it easier for the refugees to receive immediate care and screening before they are transferred to Palabek,” he added.
The official revealed that OPM will soon close down the Palabek reception centre once the refugees have all been verified and registered.
Currently, 277 South Sudanese refugees are being verified at Palabek reception centre before they are reallocated to the settlement camp.
The chairperson Lamwo Town Council, Mr George Nyeko, on Monday said welcomed the opening of the reception centre, adding that it will help address the rising refugee numbers.