Stories of Some Refugees
Overnight many refugees came to the transit camp. Many of them have learned about the convoy for Thursday so they time their arrival so as to stay in the transit camp for as little time as possible. Many more just arrived at the entrance and proceeded to line up to register for a UNHCR card which entitles them to get food and shelter and to also register to be transported to the resettlement camp. Already the line was long but the refugees were patient.
A Red Cross man told me of rapes occurring in the camp when it was inundated with thousands of refugees, many more were cramped into communal camps and in an unlit camp ground where the latrines were situated in the fringes, rapes occurred. Different families were also cramped into the same smaller camps. Nowadays the refugees are numbered in the hundreds and there have been no rape cases. On occasions they have also found some rebels in the midst with weapons. I caught sight of the sixty year-old woman who was raped walking with a cane, visibly limping, her son who looked quite aged was by her side helping her. She was beaten by the rebels before being raped.
In the clinic, the Ugandan nationals appeared first as most of the refugees were busy being registered, soon they arrived with the yellow wrist bands identifying them to be refugees ready for the convoy tomorrow.
A young man came in asking for pain medications. He was beaten by the rebels who tried to recruit him, he gave them a lot of money and his car and they let him go. He escaped with his wife and two children. We treated another man who ran away with his friends and leaving his wife and six children behind. When asked why he left them behind, he said his wife wanted to check on her corn crop and he could not wait for her. He was going to try to wait for them in Uganda. A fifty year-old man told us all his four wives had run away to Uganda with twenty-two of his children and he is here now to try to locate at least one of them.
This woman came to Uganda with six children, her husband fled to Uganda and is already in Rwangmangi Camp. She brought in three to the clinic to be seen, they were all very fearful and weary of me and began to cry when I reached out to them. The older ones were wearing khakis with OBAMA embroidered on their oversized shirts. This woman is lucky, she has had contact with her husband both of them own cell phones.
Today the sun shone brightly and it was a great laundry day for the refugees who washed and dried their clothes on the grass. A few children ran around eating plumpy nut distributed by the nutritional program of MTI. These are the malnourished children who need extra calories and protein for their growth and development. Other children learn about this and some ask us for "biscuis". I have none to offer.