- August 21, 2021
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First batch of Afghan refugees arrive tomorrow, to be hosted in Entebbe hotels
The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hillary Onek has said the first batch of Afghan refugees will arrive in Uganda tomorrow, Sunday.
“The first Afghan asylum seekers will be arriving in Uganda tomorrow. They will be about 140. Subsequently, the next flight will follow,” Onek said on Saturday while appearing on the Nxt Big Talk on Nxt Radio.
“The refugees that come in are mostly women and children. UN supports the government in providing health and educational services. We are able to improve the quality of those who come in.” he added.
He added that the group will not stay in refugee camps but rather in hotels for a limited time before they go to US.
“Uganda will be a transit point for Afghan refugees. We shall process them before they are flown into the US. These are not refugees and will not be in refugee settlements. They will be accommodated at most of the Entebbe hotels.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this week said the decision to host the refugees follows a request by US government that Uganda gladly welcomed.
“Upon receipt of the request from the government of the United States for assistance towards hosting some of the affected persons and because of Uganda’s long standing history and tradition of hosting refugees and other persons in need, President Museveni expressed Uganda’s readiness to provide assistance,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday afternoon.
Whereas according to the ministry of relief and disaster preparedness, the first batch of 500 Afghan refugees was supposed to arrive on Monday, August 16, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Gen Jeje Odongo on Thursday told the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee that no decision had yet been made to host the group in Uganda.
“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 said.
Uncertainty grew in Afghanistan after the Taliban Islamic group captured power they had lost 20 years ago after US troops overthrew the then government lead by Mullah Omar that was accused of hosting Al Quaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.
According to the government, the Afghan refugee stay here will be catered for by the US government.