Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda is ready to take in up to 500 African migrants from Israel, State minister of disaster preparedness and refugees Musa Ecweru has revealed.
“The State of Israel working with other refugees’ managing organisations has requested Uganda to allow about 500 Eritreans and Sudanese refugees to relocate to Uganda. The Government and Ministry are positively considering the request,” Ecweru said at a press briefing on Friday.
“We already have millions of refugees in Uganda from Somalia, Ethiopia so the few from Israel won’t be a problem to Uganda as a third party country.”
Uganda has for the past year refuted reports linking them to the settlement of the immigrants. “We are slow but very sure on the issue of refugees that we host. To my knowledge, no refugees from Israel have come in yet. The ones coming are going to the settlement,” Ecweru said.
Israel in January announced the implementation of a programme to remove migrants who entered illegally, giving them a choice between leaving voluntarily or facing indefinite imprisonment with eventual forced expulsion.
According to interior ministry figures, there are currently some 42,000 African migrants in Israel, half of them children, women or men with families, who were not facing immediate deportation.
As the migrants could face danger or imprisonment if returned to their homelands, Israel offered to relocate them to an unnamed African country, which deportees and aid workers said was Rwanda or Uganda.
Rwanda and Uganda earlier said they would not accept those deported against their will.
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