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Uganda will host thousands of Afghan refugees

A general view of tents at the Nyakabande refugees transit camp in Uganda.
Reuters/James Akena
The Nyakabande refugee camp in Uganda.
  • Carlos Mureithi
By Carlos Mureithi

East Africa correspondent

Published

Uganda is set to temporarily host Afghan 2,000 refugees following their home country’s rapid takeover by the Taliban.

Uganda’s minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Esther Anyakun, told the country’s Daily Monitor newspaper that president Yoweri Museveni had granted a request by the US to let them stay in Uganda for three months. The US will then relocate them, she said, without specifying where.

Uganda hosts more refugees than any other country in Africa. Around 1.5 million people have found asylum there, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, most of them from neighboring South Sudan. Uganda is known for having friendly policies that give refugees plenty of rights, including education, work, and property ownership.

Meanwhile, for many years Ugandans have worked in war zones like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. “Armed guards are Uganda’s top export,” reported Bloomberg in 2016.

The US has reportedly been holding talks with several different countries to get them to agree to temporarily host at-risk Afghans who worked for the American government. With the Taliban back in charge, and memories of the brutality of its former regime remaining strong, many Afghans are trying to flee the country, especially those who worked with foreign powers like the US and UK.

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