Security agencies in West Nile Sub region are battling a fresh wave of violence targeting humanitarian workers in refugee settlements in Yumbe district, after twelve of them were attacked by suspected members of the Aringa ethnic community seeking employment since June this year.
The attacks are motivated by frustration over failure to find employment with the agencies. In the past some of the agencies were forced to close their offices for at least two weeks to ease the tension.
The latest attack occurred on Monday night, when the attackers vandalized and uprooted signposts of several agencies and left behind notices calling for increased attacks on humanitarian aid workers.
"We want jobs now," read one of the placards. "48 Hours to Kill Non Aringas. Bagandas and Acholis," read another. Some of the placards carried messages directed at Yumbe district officials.
West Nile Region Police Spokesperson, Josephine Angucia, says they have summoned those behind the attacks to record statements. Angucia says they have held several meetings involving officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, security and the humanitarian agencies to ease the tension.
Abubakar Musoke, the Yumbe District Police Commander, says security is meeting over the matter. The violence has affected the activities of the humanitarian agencies including United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International rescue Committee (IRC), Windle Trust, World Vision, Danish and Swedish Agencies, Mercy Corps and Save the Children among others.
The agencies maintain that the residents don't meet the minimum employment requirements for absorption. But the disgruntled residents allege that the agencies are sidelining them from available jobs on sectarian grounds.
They accuse the agencies of recruiting more volunteers from the Acholi ethnic group and other tribes from central Uganda. Similar protests have been recorded in Koboko and Adjumani districts in the past.