First batch of Afghan ‘refugees’ arrive in Uganda

Following an August 15 Taliban takeover in Kabul, the US reportedly asked Uganda to temporarily host the refugees.

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Fifty one (51) Afghan evacuees have Wednesday morning arrived at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda, Government of Uganda has confirmed.

‘‘The evacuees who included women and children arrived aboard a privately chartered plane and underwent necessary security screening as well as mandatory Covid-19 testing and the required quarantine procedures,‘’ the Foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.

Sources say they were booked into Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe. 

However, an unknown number of Ugandan nationals remain trapped in a country currently led by militants ‘‘due to the challenges of accessing the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.’’

‘‘They were unable to make it. Arrangements are being made to bring them in the subsequent flight,’’ government said. Early this week, Taliban authorities issued an August 31 deadline for all foreign forces, including those on evacuation missions.

The Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe where the evacuees are set for a temporary settlement| IMAGE RIGHTS -UBC.

Media reports have however suggested that US President Joe Biden would obey that deadline to pull American forces out of Afghanistan following August 24 talks with his Group of Seven nations (G7) counterparts.

“The sooner we can finish, the better… each day of operations brings added risk to our troops,” Biden said adding that “We are currently on the pace to finish by August 31.”

Those remarks falling as tens of thousands of horrified Afghans continue to flee amidst uncertainty and chaotic scenes even as the Talibans ‘‘encourage them to stay.’’

Following an August 15 Taliban takeover in Kabul, the US reportedly asked Uganda to temporarily host the refugees.

Two days later, Ugandan authorities announced they had accepted the request from Washington. More evacuees are expected in the East African nation.

US Forces have successfully moved over 70,000 people to separate destinations worldwide since the Talibans toppled President Ashraf Ghani. 

KAMPALA BUSINESS RADIO