Uganda welcomes Afghan refugees. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen. Odongo Jeje has said that no decision has yet been made to host Afghanistan refugees in the country.
Odongo was on Thursday appearing before Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee where several MPs tasked him to explain the government’s reported plan to host 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan.
The Minister told MPs that Uganda has been however approached because of its international humanitarian record of helping people in distress and that it is on this record that the country is continuing to discuss the matter.
“No decision has been made, whether they will come or not. It’s a suggestion, a proposal; discussions are going on…no substantive decision has been made,” Odongo emphasized.
He told the committee chaired by Buliisa Woman MP Norah Bigirwa, that government will communicate a decision on the matter when it is finally made.
However, in a separate meeting between Parliament’s Presidential Affairs Committee and Hilary Onek, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, he said that the Afghanistan refugees will be catered for by the American government.
Onek dismissed reports of hosting the Afghan refugees at Namboole saying that the stadium is never close to their minds when it comes to hosting refugees and therefore it is not on the program for Afghanistan.
Namboole Stadium is being used by the Government of Uganda Ministry of Health as a Covid-19 treatment center.
This week, the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Esther Anyakun Davinia said that Uganda is willing to take in 2,000 refugees who are fleeing renewed instability in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Uganda is among the African countries that the US has courted to host the Afghanistan refugees after Taliban militants ousted Ashraf Ghani’s government. The Taliban were two decades ago deposed by American troops.
According to Anyakun, Uganda expects to host the refugees temporarily for three months or longer with the emergency landing of the first group expected anytime. The first batch of 500 was expected in the country on Monday evening but these have not landed to date.
Government is next week expected to present a comprehensive statement to parliament on the proposal to host Afghanistan refugees following Wednesday’s directive by Deputy Speaker Anita Among.
Tens of thousands of Afghans are trying to flee their country after the Taliban takeover and countries near and far are preparing to take them in. However, French President Emmanuel Macron has been heavily criticized for vowing to create an EU initiative to prevent migrant flows from Afghanistan. Read from AS English https://en.as.com/en/2021/08/18/latest_news/1629280288_219234.html