The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said Uganda will continue to maintain its open door policy towards refugees and also work closely with other governments and Development Partners to ensure that peace is restored in countries faced with conflicts.
The Premier made remarks while meeting with the EU Members of Parliament at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala on Thursday.
The Prime Minister said Uganda has an obligation to help refugees since no one chooses the status of a refugee but is compelled to become one by circumstances.
“Uganda will continue to maintain an open door policy towards refugees. We believe refugees are people in need, running away from danger and death. We therefore have no choice but to embrace them and help them settle down and also make a living for themselves until peace and stability is restored in their countries,” Rugunda said.
He also said the Government of Uganda, under the leadership of President Museveni is working with other regional leaders to ensure that peace is restored in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We are optimistic that peace and stability will be restored in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. The Government of Uganda and other Regional leaders have combined efforts to restore stability by contacting and engaging the governments of the two countries to ensure that the root cause of the problem is tackled and resolved,” the Premier said.
The 1st Deputy Prime Minister, Rtd. Gen. Moses Ali, said the People of Adjumani who are currently hosting a huge influx of refugees enjoy cordial relations with the refugees due to the cultural similarity between the two groups.
“The hosting communities have embraced the refugees due to the already existing relationship across the boarders in terms of tribe, culture and sharing of the natural resources such as water bodies among others,” Moses Ali said.
The Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru said Uganda is implementing the Comprehensive Refugee Framework policy which focuses on both humanitarian and development aspects for refugees.
He also said government is working to improve social infrastructure in refugee hosting communities.
Linda McAvan, the Chair of the Development Committee of the European Parliament, commended Uganda for upholding an open door policy towards refugees.
She pledged EU’s support in this regard and key partnership on issues of promoting inclusive development for the country.
The delegates also commended Uganda for aligning the Country’ plan to the sustainable Development goals (SDGs).
The Meeting was also attended by the EU Ambassador, His Excellency, Attilio Pacifici, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hilary Onek, the Minister for General Duties in OPM, Karoro Okurut, the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Christine Guwatudde Kintu and other government officials.
Friday, May 11, 2018
BY DOREEN NASASIRA