25th October 2020
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Uganda not ready to receive more refugees – minister

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Friday, October 9, 2020

File Photo; Elegu entry point, where hundreds of South Sudanese nationals, including schoolchildren, were stranded after Museveni’s no entry no exit order came into effect. Credit | Okot Emmanuel/Eye Radio March 23, 2020.

The Ugandan Minister of Disaster Preparedness says his country is not ready to receive any more refugees as it still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.

A ban issued by the government on new refugee arrivals is still in force since the closure of borders in March this year.

According to the Minister, there are about 1,000 refugees camped at the South Sudan border after being denied entry.

Uganda hosts the most refugees of any African country and is the third refugee-hosting nation in the world.

There are about 1 million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, the vast majority of them women and children.

Hillary Onek announced that his country can no longer handle an extra burden from refugees at this time

“They are hopeful that after some days when peace returns to their areas of settlement, they will return,” Onek told the press at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala this week.

He stated that the only exemption to the order is when they allowed more than 3,000 refugees running away from the Democratic Republic of Congo to enter Uganda on “humanitarian and security grounds”.

UN agencies say most refugees of South Sudan origin have returned home in August this year.

The International Organization for Migration notes that during the lockdown and immediately after the opening of Uganda’s international borders, several refugees were resettled to other countries.

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