A group of fifty one Afghan evacuees have Wednesday morning arrived in the country from Afghanistan.
They are part of the 2,000 evacuees government of Uganda intends to temporarily host as they flee Afghanistan after the Taliban seized back control of the country, almost two decades after they were ousted by a US-led coalition.
The decision to host some of the affected Afghan people in Uganda follows a request by government of the United States to several international partners including Uganda to assist in their temporary hosting.
Uganda became the first African country to signal willingness and readiness to receive the Afghan people and international citizens.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 51 evacuees arrived at the Entebbe International Airport aboard a privately chartered flight around 7am.
“The evacuees who included men, women and children underwent the necessary security screening as well as the mandatory COVID19 testing and the required quarantine procedures,” says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
U.S Commends Uganda
The United States has already heaped praise on Uganda and refugee host communities for relentlessly standing with individuals in need regardless of their countries of origin.
“Today Uganda received a privately chartered flight carrying evacuees from Afghanistan. The Government of Uganda and the Ugandan people have a long tradition of welcoming refugees and other communities in need,” writes U.S mission in Uganda on Twitter.
“As the largest bilateral supporter of refugees in Uganda and their Ugandan host communities, the United States expresses its appreciation to the Ugandan people for their generosity and hospitality toward these communities,” they add.
The U.S mission in Uganda says the country has once again demonstrated a willingness to play its part in matters of international concern and that they commend its efforts and those of the local and international organizations in Uganda who are providing humanitarian support in partnership with the Government of Uganda for these evacuees from Afghanistan.
According to Gen Jeje Odongo, the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Afghan nationals and other nationals to be temporarily hosted in Uganda are not categorized as refugees since they are at-risk people who are in transit to the United States and other destinations worldwide.
“The arrangements which we are discussing will depend on the different categories of individuals will come here. We will treat the different categories since they will not be typical refugees,” Gen Odongo said.
Uganda currently hosts 1,498,442 refugees and asylum seekers mostly from South Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Rwanda.
The country’s open door policy for refugees is hailed by the United Nations (UN) as the most progressive in the world.