Government has expressed its commitment to protect refugees according to provisions provided for in the International law according to the Minister for relief, Disater Preparedness and Refugees Hillary Onek. He stressed that refugees in Uganda enjoy all rights available to citizens except the right to participate in national politics.
The Minister was meeting a delegation from UK led by the DFID Undersecretary who is also Minister for Africa Walthon. The meeting was held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala. The delegation was received by the Minister for Relief and Disaster Management Hillary Onek at his Office in Kampala. It was also attended by the Permanent Secretary Christine Guwattude Kintu and the Commissioner for refugees David Apollo Kanzungu.
The Minister on behalf of Government, appreciated the continued assistance from the development partners in managing the refugee situation in the country. Onek informed the delegation that Uganda hosts the largest refugee population in Africa and is one of the five largest refugee host countries globally. He said host communities have agreed to share the little there is with the refugees, including surrendering their land free of charge to settle refugees.
On his part, the head of delegation appreciated the hospitality Uganda accords to the refugees. He recognized the additional refugee pressure Uganda was facing and pledged to consider more support.
The refugee population in Uganda as of 31st January 2017, is one million sixty four thousand (1,064,000). Uganda has been able to host such a big number of refugees because of the progressive refugee management laws and policies.
By Mugerwa Michael