Daniel Gillies, popularly known for his role as Elijah Mikealson in the series Vampire Diaries and The Originals, has hailed Uganda for its refugee policy that gives refugees dignity inspite of their situation. The Hollywood actor was in the country courtesy of Oxfam Uganda for a week and visited Imvepi and Bidibidi refugee settlements.
American actor Daniel Gillies, best known for his role as Elijah Mikaelson in the television series Vampire Dairies and The Originals has urged the government to create more awareness about the influx of refugees in the country.
Gillies made the remarks while addressing journalists in Entebbe after his six-day visit to South Sudanese refugees in Bidibidi and other settlements in West Nile.
“The reason I’m doing this campaign is to fundraise money but if I raised $10m it would be a drop in the bucket; what we need is to have people talking. There is no communication, people need to speak about the largest humanitarian crisis in the world right now,” he said.
Gillies further noted that there were two battles that needed to be fought which included the good living conditions of the refugees in their camps and ending the war in South Sudan.
“I want people to talk. People aren’t talking. I feel that… we have actual power to influence the powers and leaders to intervene in the refugee situation,” he said.
Mr Peter Kamalingin the Oxfam Country director told journalists that since January this year there has been an increase in the number of refugees entering the country with over 300,000 people entering the border districts.
“The issue may look Ugandan but it’s a global problem that needs to be addressed, there are more than 1.3 million refugees with close to 977,000 of them being South Sudanese and 86 per cent of whom are women and children,” he said.
He further called on South Sudanese leaders and regional governments to end the root cause of the conflict in South Sudan.
“The numbers we dealing with are already large and if the current influx continues its an additional stress, we won’t be able to have enough services and resources to cater for them,” he said.