The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the first group of evacuees from Afghanistan arrived in Kampala Wednesday morning aboard a privately chartered flight.
In its statement, the ministry said they received 51 evacuees who will stay here temporarily as they await relocation.
The East African nation was requested by the US government to host the Afghans following the Taliban takeover of Kabul. About 2000 evacuees are expected in Kampala.
“This follows a request from the US Government and acceptance by the Government of Uganda to temporarily host at-risk Afghan Nationals and other Nationals who are in transit to the United States of America and other destinations worldwide,” the ministry said in a Wednesday statement.
“Uganda and the United States of America enjoy long-standing cordial bilateral relations which are historic in nature and continue to pursue common interests for the mutual benefit of both countries.”
Uganda already hosts 1.5 million refugees, give or take, from a number of countries across the world.
“… the decision to host those in need, is informed by… Uganda's consistent policy of receiving refugees and persons in distress as well as playing a responsible role in matters of international concern,” the ministry said.
“The Evacuees who included men, women and children underwent the necessary security screening as well as the mandatory COVID-19 testing and the required quarantine procedures.”
The statement says it had been arranged for some Ugandans to travel on this flight, but this failed due to the challenges of accessing the airport in Kabul.
“They were unable to make it,” says the statement. “Arrangements are being made to bring them in the subsequent flight.”