Uganda has agreed to take in 2,000 migrants fleeing Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover on Sunday, in response to a request by the US government. On Tuesday, the first group of 500 Afghans is slated to arrive at Entebbe Airport.
“The US government made a request to H.E. (President Yoweri Museveni) yesterday, and he gave them permission to bring 2,000 (Afghan) refugees to Uganda,” Esther Anyakun Davinia, Uganda’s junior minister for relief, disaster preparedness, and refugees, told Reuters. “They are only going to stay here for three months before the US government relocates them elsewhere.”
According to the BBC, the United States will fund the expenditures. Uganda has a long history of receiving migrants escaping conflict or natural catastrophes, and now accommodates over 1.4 million refugees, most of whom are from South Sudan.
Anyakun told the BBC that the fresh Afghans arriving will be checked for Covid-19 before being transported to isolation centers.
On Monday, chaos erupted at Kabul’s airport as Afghans attempted to push their way onto American flights in order to exit the nation, which has come under Taliban control.
Taliban insurgents quickly grabbed control of provincial capitals in recent weeks and eventually occupied Kabul, forcing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to abandon the country on Sunday.
Thousands of Afghans have been put in danger as a result of the Taliban’s takeover, particularly those who assisted US forces. The Taliban has since reclaimed control, following a US-led campaign that deposed them in 2001. After most foreign forces withdrew, the Islamist group was able to seize power on Sunday.
Many anxious Afghans then flocked to the airport, where US troops were coordinating evacuations for foreigners and vulnerable locals.
The White House’s policies, according to Amnesty International, “simply fanned the fires of this humanitarian tragedy.”
“Every moment that the Biden administration fails to course-correct could have horrific consequences,” the statement said, “exacerbating the already atrocious failures to support the people of Afghanistan, including the Afghans who risked their lives and the lives of their families to provide assistance to the US.”
The airport perimeter in Kabul is now protected by US forces. According to the Associated Press, a defense official claimed Taliban forces had agreed to refrain from interfering with airport evacuation efforts.