UN & Govt agree to biometric system to verify refugees

The United Nations and the Uganda Government agree to immediately begin using the UNHCR biometric system to verify the refugee population as part of the new transparency and accountability measures in light of the OPM refugee scandal.

A statement issued by the UN resident coordinator Rosa Malango indicates that the UNHCR Biometric system ensures that a refugee cannot be registered twice as it captures a wide range of features including 10 fingerprints and two iris scans.  She says that the system is a proven and reliable tool used in 48 countries.

The statement also says that UN will from now on wards ensure the involvement of key stakeholders including refugees and Ugandan nationals at all planning levels as part of accountability and transparency mechanisms.

The statement also welcomes the swift action taken by the Government of Uganda to investigate allegations in the refugee response.

The allegations that have resulted into the suspension of 4 key officials in the refugee department at the Office of the Prime Minister include gross mismanagement, malpractices in the registration of refugees, fraud, corruption, trafficking of girls and women, and threats to UN staff.

The UN says that these allegations are of extreme concern because they violate the principles and values enshrined in the UN Charter.

Malango asserts that the UN has no space for corruption, fraud, trafficking of women and girls or as the intimidation of UN staff.

Story by

Kenneth Lukwago

February 12 2018