Uganda and Rwanda offering temporary asylum to Afghan refugees in transit to the US and other Western Countries

Following the unprecedented swift takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and usurpation of the democratically elected government, thousands of Afghans have frenetically fled the country. This is largely due to the trepidation relating to the possibility of repression and limitations on rights and freedoms by the Taliban.

Many of the evacuees have not been able to gain entry into western countries due to the concatenation of processes involved and as such developing countries have stepped in to offer temporary succor to the fleeing Afghans.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, noted that several nations have made “generous” offers in relation to the relocation efforts of the Afghans at risk. Uganda and Rwanda are the two African countries to have offered temporary asylum to the Afghans. Other countries include Mexico, Columbia, Costa Rica among others. Somaliland is reportedly another African country currently in dialogue with US to join in the relocation effort.

The Nyakabande refugee camp in Uganda. (source: Quartz Africa)

Uganda has a reputation for its generous refugee policy. Around 1.5 million refugees are domiciled in the East African nation. This makes it the number one refugee hosting country in the entire African continent and among the top five in the world. Sudan and Ethiopia ranks second and third respectively behind Uganda. More than 90% of Ugandan refugees come from neighbouring countries like South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda currently hosts around 130,000 refugees, a majority coming from Congo and Burundi. Rwanda welcomed around 250 Afghan schoolgirls alongside their family members and school staff last week.

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