Uganda to host 2,000 Afghan refugees following request by the U.S.

Uganda to host 2,000 Afghan refugees following request by the U.S.

Uganda said on Tuesday it had agreed to a request from the United States to take in temporarily 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan fleeing after the Taliban takeover. The east African nation has long experience receiving people escaping conflict and currently hosts about 1.4 million refugees, most from South Sudan. “The request was made yesterday by the U.S. government to H.E. (President Yoweri Museveni) and he has given them an OK 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 going to be here temporarily for three months before the U.S. government resettles them elsewhere.” It was unclear when they would start arriving. Albania and Kosovo have also accepted a U.S. request to temporarily take in Afghan refugees. Albania and Kosovohave accepted a U.S. request to temporarily take in Afghan refugees seeking visas to enter the United States, the country two countries said on Sunday. In Tirana, Prime Minister Edi Rama Rama said U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration had asked fellow NATO member Albania to assess whether it could serve as a transit country for a number of Afghan refugees whose final destination is the United States. “We will not say ‘No’, not just because our great allies ask us to, but because we are Albania,” Rama said on Facebook. Sources had told Reuters that Biden’s administration had held discussions with such countries as Kosovo and Albania about protecting U.S.-affiliated Afghans from Taliban reprisals until they completed the process of approval of their U.S. visas. In Kosovo, President Vjosa Osmani said the government had been in contact with the U.S. authorities about housing Afghan refugees since mid-July. “Without any hesitation and … conditioning I gave my consent to that humanitarian operation,” Osmani said on her Facebook account. Osmani said Afghan refugees would be vetted by the U.S. security authorities, and added they would stay in Kosovo until their documentation for U.S. immigration visas was arranged. Hundreds of U.S. troops are still stationed in Kosovo as peacekeepers more than two decades after the 1998-99 war with the then-Yugoslav security forces.

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