KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni is set to hold discussions with top officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the possibility of Ugandans trapped in China, who are said to be facing Xenophobic.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its Twitter handle noted that, “President Kaguta Museveni is open to the possibility of airlifting some of the Ugandans who are stuck abroad affected by the lock down put in place in some countries to fight this #COVID19 pandemic. He will have a discussion with Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
The move by government is preemptive of Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi’s plan to team up with the co-founder of Atlanta Black Star, Neil Nelson, to help airlift Africans and African Americans being subjected to inhumane treatment in China, a plan that was announced through a joint statement on Monday.
According to the statement, the duo is currently working together to facilitate a humanitarian mission to airlift those Africans and African-Americans who are affected by these attacks to a country in Africa that is willing to receive them,” read the press release. “We are also prepared to evacuate them to the United States for those holding U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.”
Kyagulanyi and Nelson also appealed to the Chinese government and other global African leaders to take urgent action to protect Africans abroad.
After Kyagulanyi unveiled his plan, Sam K. Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs moved swiftly on Tuesday,held a press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and informed the Press about the efforts Government of Uganda has been making in conjunction with the Government of the People’s Republic of China’s to address the plight of Ugandans caught up in China following the drastic measures taken to mitigate the COVID -19 scourge.
Kutesa said that in response, there were plans to provide accommodation for Ugandans and other Africans who have overstayed their visas and have no place of residence; provide assistance to any of the Ugandans who have been quarantined in hotel facilities and cannot afford the cost; as well as ensure that there are no more targeted evictions and revocations on legal rental contracts by landlords.
Government also vowed to ensure that there is no discrimination in access to services such as hospitals, markets, public transport, restaurants etc. Where this has happened, it will be condemned.
Kutesa however earlier refuted possibility of evacuating the Ugandans trapped in China arguing that owing to the on going lockdown in almost the entire world, closure of borders and suspension of regional and international air travel, it is not possible for these Ugandans to return home at the moment.
“The position of Government, therefore, is that these Ugandans should stay put in their respective locations and strictly adhere to the health and administrative measures instituted by the Government there. The Government of Uganda is in discussions with various Foreign Governments in order to find ways to assist these Ugandan nationals in their respective locations until such a time that travel restrictions shall be lifted and the Ugandans can return home,” said Kutesa.
last week, Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko asked Government to urgently evacuate Ugandans stranded in China after reports emerged that they’re suffering xenophobic attacks in China and other Arab countries such as United Arab Emirates (UAE) after local residents in those countries descended on Africans, demanding they return to their mother countries, blaming them for the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports from China indicate that blacks are being evicted and forced to sleep on the streets and denied use of public transport after the host countries got overwhelmed with feeding and accommodating them yet they are no longer working due to the global shut down.