Several hundred Afghan refugees will be hosted by Rwanda and Uganda in the coming days. Kigali and Kampala are the only two African states to have, for the moment, given their agreement.
Since Wednesday, Afghan refugees have set foot on African soil. Yesterday a plane from Afghanistan landed at Entebbe International Airport. Uganda is one of two African countries that have agreed to welcome refugees from Kabul.
Western countries see the flow of migrants increasing day by day: the United States has indeed already evacuated nearly 50 people since the airlift was put in place on August 000th. On Monday alone, 14 Afghan refugees arrived in America. The United Kingdom, during Operation Pitting, evacuated more than 11 Afghans, Italy nearly 000, while Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark or Sweden evacuated several hundred civilians.
1,6 million refugees in Uganda
Rwanda and Uganda are known for their tradition of welcoming refugees. They therefore decided to take in civilians fleeing the Taliban. Uganda is expected to receive, for a temporary period, 2 fleeing Afghans, while about fifty refugees arrived on Wednesday. Kampala accepted this situation "at the request of the United States", according to the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is indeed Afghans in transit, before going to the United States, who will settle temporarily in Entebbe or its surroundings.
An action that is not surprising: according to United Nations figures, Uganda welcomes nearly 1,6 million refugees of different nationalities. It is one of the most active countries in this field. Among the refugees, many South Sudanese or Congolese from the DRC. Uganda has refugee camps in the north, but also in Kampala where more than 80 refugees have packed their bags.
“When we received the request, and from a moral point of view, we could not refuse, because we have to support humanity,” said Ugandan Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Chris. Baryomunsi. However, the population remains skeptical about the reception of Afghan refugees, believing that this could explode Islamist terrorism in Uganda.
Rwanda welcomes schoolgirls from boarding school
Rwanda will also host several hundred Afghans. It is schoolgirls and their teachers who are mainly affected by the Kigali decision. In all, 250 adolescent girls and their families have moved to Rwanda to continue their studies. After passing through the Qatar, the refugees were given the opportunity to reach Rwanda.
Government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo refuses to comment on the arrival of Afghan students, for reasons of confidentiality. But she confirms the information. Rwanda is already home to at least two refugee camps, says the UN.
If the Taliban have promised to better respect women's rights or the right to education, many Afghans want to flee their country. After Rwanda and Uganda, will other countries accept to welcome refugees from Afghanistan?