KAMPALA – The Ambassador of Belgium to Uganda and South Sudan, Rudi Veestraeten, has commended Uganda on its open door policy towards refugees.
“Uganda has quite a unique example on migration. I like the open policy and the way Uganda welcomes migrants,” Veestraeten said while paying a courtesy call on the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, on Thursday.
Oulanyah noted that there are dynamics that the migration issue brings about and a frank discussion was needed.
“We are also getting very critical about the open door policy. When we meet with the European Parliamentarians, the issue of migration comes up strongly and they (European Members of Parliament) are shy to talk about it, especially given the relationship they have with migrant countries and how they are supposed to be a buffer to stop people from crossing. The backside of this that when they stop these people, from Africa, they sell them as slaves and this hasn’t been received well,” Oulanyah said.
The Deputy Speaker also highlighted the difficulty of getting visas to the United Kingdom and United States citing a recent incident that involved the Chief Justice at the United States visa section.
“There are subtle walls being erected everywhere but I hope we don’t respond as African countries. To get a UK visa, they need a two-page application and what Uganda requires is just one line, one to have a valid passport so as to get the visa on arrival,” he said.