Uganda to host 2,000 Afghan refugees on US request

Afghani refugees

Afghani refugees. 

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • The first batch of about 500 Afghan refugees were expected on August 16. 

Uganda has agreed to temporarily host 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan following recent political unrest in the country.

Uganda’s State minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Ms Esther Anyakun, said on Tuesday that this follows a request by the US government, which was granted by President Yoweri Museveni.

"We expect to host them temporarily before they can be relocated by the US government. It was request to His Excellency. We started the preparation yesterday," Ms Anyakun said on Tuesday.

She added that the first batch of about 500 Afghan refugees were expected on August 16 but they are yet to arrive.

"They might come any time since it’s an emergency landing. They have requested us to host 2,000. They will be received in shifts," she explained.

According to government, the US government will meet all expenses incurred during their stay.

The refugees will be accommodated by Uganda for a period of three months and will arrive in groups of 500.

Afghanistan, troubled for the last two decades, fell into the hands of the Taliban after it overran the national army, three weeks after the US withdrew its military deployment. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has since fled the country.

There were scenes of chaos in Kabul after the Taliban marched into the capital Kabul, signifying the complete takeover of the country.

The situation has led to mass evacuations as foreign workers rush to leave the country amid safety concerns.

Report by Nobert Atukunda

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