At the Summit, Uganda’s Minister for Internal Affairs, Hon. Minister Henry Okello Oryem, pledged to provide training for armed forces on the Protocol. Since 2016, with fundingsupport from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the British High Commission in Uganda, Refugee Law Project has trained Uganda Battle Groups (UGABAG) peacekeepers on documentation and investigations of sexual violence in conflict using the protocol. So far, 1,088 (229 females, 859 males) UPDF soldiers have received training prior to deployment for peacekeeping operation in the East and Horn of Africa region.
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Since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Uganda, lives have and continue to change dramatically. With several measures and televised Presidential directives, the #StayHome mantra continues to impact lives in various ways. Refugees and host communities have not been spared – if any, the pandemic has worsened the already biting challenges and vulnerabilities.
With some vulnerable communities in ‘hard-to-reach’ places at the receiving end of the directives and its associated enforcement and curfew, many of the things happening in and around refugee-hosting areas haven’t made it to the media. Many refugees and hosts are mired in inadequately documented challenges. While communities have not resigned themselves to the hurdles at hand and are adopting numerous creative coping mechanisms, the ways in which such resilience and positive coping mechanisms can be supported and replicated elsewhere by government, civil society, and international actors requires further exploration.