The first batch of 51 Afghan evacuees arrived in the country this morning aboard a chartered flight, according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
“The evacuees who included women, men and children underwent the necessary security screening as well as the mandatory COVID-19 testing and the required quarantine procedures” read the unsigned statement issued by the Ministry issued on Wednesday Morning.
Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo confirmed the arrival of the afghan evacuees in a post on his Twitter handle but gave a different figure from the actual number of those received.
“The first batch of about 345 evacuees’ children, women and men arrived in Uganda at Entebbe Airport at 6 am this morning aboard a privately charted plane. They were received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, US mission Uganda and will be in hotels in Entebbe,” he tweeted.
According to the statement, Ugandans who were expected to use the same flight couldn’t make it because of challenges accessing Kabul airport.
“Whereas it had been arranged for some Ugandans to travel on the above flight, due to challenges of accessing the airport in Kabul, they were unable to make it. Arrangements are being made to bring them in the subsequent flight,” the statement said.
The arrival of the evacuees is in line with the US government request to Uganda to temporarily host at-risk Afghan nationals and other nationals in transit to the US and other destinations worldwide following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban.
According to earlier statements from the Foreign Affairs Ministry officials, the US government asked Uganda to host 2000 refugees.
The US Mission in Kampala has commended Uganda for allowing to take in the evacuees.
“The Government of Uganda and the Ugandan people have a long tradition of welcoming refugees and other communities in need.
As the largest bilateral supporter of refugees in Uganda and their Ugandan host communities, the United States expresses its appreciation to the Ugandan people for their generosity and hospitality toward these communities.
The Government of Uganda has once again demonstrated a willingness to play its part in matters of international concern,” read the statement.
Adding that “We commend its efforts and those of the local and international organizations in Uganda who are providing humanitarian support in partnership with the Government of Uganda for these evacuees from Afghanistan.”