The government of the Republic of Uganda has declined to host more refugees from Afghanistan, who fled the country following a surprise Taliban power takeover.
This was revealed today Morning by the state minister of foreign affairs Honourable Okello Oryem.
A few weeks ago, the ministry of foreign affairs had declared that Uganda would allow more Afghan refugees, especially officials of the ousted Afghan government of Dr Ashraf Ghani, after an agreement was reached, between Uganda and America.
In a new twist of events, Uganda has today backtracked on the idea and former Afghan government officials will look for save heavens elsewhere.
While answering questions by the press from foreign affairs ministry headquarters today Morning, honourable Oryem said that the painful decision was taken by the government due to the cool reception and negative sentiments expressed by Ugandans against the first group of Afghan asylum seekers, who arrived in the country in August 2021.
“Ugandans started attacking the government of Uganda…….., gave expressions that they are not welcome, gave expressions that they do not want Afghans to come to Uganda, and hence the Afghans when they were being asked which countries they wanted to go to, they chose to go to other countries which have got more welcoming attitudes and would welcome them warmly….and those are the countries which are going to be earning thousands of dollars per day,” remarked Oryem.
He specified that former Afghan officials chose to go to countries like Qatar, Tajikistan, Pakistan as these are perceived to be more hospitable and welcoming than Uganda.
He also added that other refugees, other than x Afghan officials decided to go to countries that would welcome them warmly, instead of coming to Uganda, and castigated Ugandans for exhibiting segregative and contemptible sentiments.
“They have gone to other countries, who express a good welcoming attitude and those are the ones who are going to earn thousands of dollars, Ugandans should have earned, and I am disappointed, I am disappointed, and Ugandans should learn a lesson. When the government makes decisions, we don’t take them lightly, we make decisions that benefit all Ugandans, and care for all Ugandans,” said Mr Oryem.
“We don’t take decisions lightly in such situations. So when we decided to welcome them to Uganda, we knew that as far as security is concerned, we had the capacity to make sure that Ugandans are secure….,” he said.
He further stressed the importance of such initiatives towards the development and recovery of government and private sectors, underscoring the notion that Uganda profits from such humanitarian endeavours.
“But more importantly, we also view that this is an opportunity for us to get our hotels and those who have their private properties, to regain their strength………and this leads to development,” remarked Mr Oryem.
Uganda is known to be a hospitable nation and hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa, with about 1.5 million asylum seekers in the country. After striking a deal with US president Joe Biden, Uganda agreed to host about 2000 fleeing Afghans who reached the country on August 25th, 2021.
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