Coronavirus: Disturbing cross border travels amidst lockdown

Shops selling “non-essential items” closed down over two weeks ago, after the president of Uganda announced a lockdown. Picture by Ochan Hannington | 13 Apr 2020

Authorities in Northern Uganda blame cross border travels, during countrywide lockdown, on populations living along porous South Sudan-Uganda border area. They complain; citing mostly South Sudanese refugees still defy the travel ban, one of the measures put in place to curb spread of COVID-19. Locals are involved to a greater extent, officials say.

Refugees who were outside of their camps when nationwide lockdown came into force, however, say biting hunger is pushing them to travel amidst the lockdown. Such individuals are deterred from going back to their camps, where they expect to receive their monthly food rations. Hence they are forced to make potentially deadly journeys, within and across the borderline to find food. Our reporter, Simon Onziga, filed this story.