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The Search For Sudanese Refugees - 2002-08-06

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says at least fourteen people were killed in yesterday’s rebel raid on the Acholi-Pii refugee camp in northern Uganda. Two aid workers from the International Rescue Committee were abducted. There’s no word on their whereabouts or condition.

The Acholi-Pii camp, in the northern Pader District, had been home to twenty four thousand Sudanese refugees. It was attacked Monday morning local time by the Lord’s resistance Army.

UNHCR spokeswoman Bushra Malik says thousands of refugees have fled to other areas, including Rachkoko, about twenty kilometers from the camp. Two fact-finding teams, accompanied by military escorts, are traveling to the region to locate and check on the condition of the refugees.

Ms. Malik says the Sudanese will not return to Acholi-Pii. She says a safer location will be found. However, there are no plans to repatriate them to Sudan, due to the long civil war in that country. Bushra Malik spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.