KAMPALA — Uganda has expressed readiness to host a whopping 2000 Afghans fleeing their country after Taliban forces seized control over the weekend as the United States pulled out.
Esther Anyakun, the state minister for disaster preparedness and refugees said the first batch of the refugees will arrive in the country on Tuesday.
She said the refugees will be hosted temporarily at the request of the United States government.
It is reported that Uganda could accommodate the refugees in hotels and resorts, and that the financial cost for this accommodation, until a more permanent solution is found, will be covered by the US government.
Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa – more than 1.45 million, mostly from South Sudan but also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. The Bidibidi settlement alone hosts 235,000 people.
The country has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the world, allowing refugees to use land for housing and farming, work, and move around the country freely.
Meanwhile, the final destination for the refugees, who fear retaliation from the Taliban because they cooperated with NATO forces in Afghanistan, is the US. Their number is so far unknown.
Washington wants to evacuate thousands of people from Afghanistan and has been seeking other countries to host them temporarily while their papers for entering the US are finalised.
Thousands of Afghans have been airlifted from the troubled Asian country following the overthrow of the Afghanistan government by the Taliban.