August 17, 2021 – 20:30
Uganda will accept 2,000 refugees who have fled Afghanistan since the Taliban took power on August 15.
The agreement was reached at the request of the United States, said the Minister for Refugees, Esther Anyakun for the British broadcaster BBC.
The first group of 500 Afghans was scheduled to arrive on August 17, but officials said they were still discussing the details.
Uganda has a long history of hosting refugees and currently hosts 1.3 million of them.
This East African nation has the largest number of refugees in Africa and the third largest in the world.
Afghans will be tested for coronavirus before being sent to isolation centers, Minister Anyakun said.
The United States is expected to cover these costs.
Kosovo, Albania and northern Macedonia have also expressed readiness to host some Afghan migrants.
Authorities in Albania and Kosovo have confirmed that they have negotiated with US authorities on the issue, but have not yet provided details on when or how many migrants are expected to be housed.
The Taliban claimed victory on August 15 after seizing control of the capital, Kabul, after nearly 20 years of ending the military presence of US-led forces.
The government has fallen and President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country.
His whereabouts are still unknown.
U.S. troops are patrolling Kabul International Airport as desperate residents try to flee the country.
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, saying that “the mission was never aimed at state-building.”
“I am very saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision to end the war in Afghanistan,” Biden said in a speech to the nation on August 16.
“Americans cannot and should not die and fight in a war that Afghans are not ready to fight for themselves,” said President Biden.
According to him, the national interest of the United States in Afghanistan has always been primarily in preventing terrorist attacks.
The US president has said the Afghan government failed to listen to his advice and negotiate a political solution with the Taliban, adding that the collapse of the Afghan government happened much sooner than his administration had expected.
US-led forces ousted the Taliban from power in October 2001.
The Taliban have been harboring Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda figures in connection with the September 11 attacks in the United States.
US President Joe Biden has said the US withdrawal is now reasonable, as US forces are assured that Afghanistan will no longer become a base for foreign jihadists to carry out plots against the West. / REL