European refugees from the Congo Republic have been crossing the border into Uganda since July 10.
European refugees from the Congo Republic have been crossing the border into Uganda since July 10. Due to the many places where refugees can enter Uganda, it is not known exactly how many have arrived, but at least 300 people - mainly women and children are housed in the Kampala refugee centre.
The main escape route is from Goma, entering Uganda via Ruanda Urundi. Four Sabena DC 7 aircraft, chartered to lift Europeans from Goma had to be diverted to Bukavu as tar barrels had been placed on the runways by mutinous Congolese troops.
Some families making the trip by car were held at the border by an angry crowd of Africans, but were later allowed to continue once their possessions had been searched for weapons. Along the entire frontier Congolese troops and police have revolted, and many refugees are thought to be cut off by hostile bands. Additional numbers have crossed Lake Albert in canoes, after meeting road holdups.
At the Kampala refugee centre about a thousand beds have been made available to the refugees. The Uganda Legislative Council has authorised a bill allowing the Government to establish a Director of Refugees, provided with funds to meet the emergency. The Kenya Government has offered to help keep the flow of refugees on the move.
Belgian Premier Eyskens stated in Brussels July 11 that according to latest information there were now 5,000 refugees in Brazzaville, French Congo; 3,000 in Rhodesia; 3,500 in Angola; 2,000 in Ruanda Urundi; and an uncertain number in Uganda. There were approximately 80,000 Belgian in the Congo before independence.