Ugandans, especially the media have been warned against taking and publishing pictures of the Afghan evacuees hosted in the country.
51 evacuees arrived in the country on Wednesday morning aboard a privately chartered plane and went through all checkups before being taken to quarantine at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel.
The State Minister for Regional cooperation John Mulimba, while updating parliament on the status of hosting persons evacuated from Afghanistan this afternoon, said that some of the evacuated persons could be wanted by the Taliban government and taking their photographs could put their lives in danger and added that there is a need for media houses to report very cautiously because the matter has components of national security.
“I need to make an appeal to honorable colleagues, the country, but particularly to the media houses that the evacuees, who are now stateless, are people who are stressed, they need some kind of treatment such that they recover,” he noted.
The arrival of the evacuees is in line with the US government’s request to Uganda to temporarily host at-risk Afghan nationals and other nationals in transit to the US and other destinations worldwide following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. According to earlier statements from the Foreign Affairs Ministry officials, the US government asked Uganda to host up to 2,000 refugees.
Mulimba also told parliament that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made attempts to establish the status of Uganda nationals in Afghanistan and has since learned that 10 Ugandans working in the United Nations-UN system were evacuated on a flight to London, in the United Kingdom. He however says that these are now in the 14-day quarantine and they will thereafter travel to Uganda.
“We established that Ugandans working with the UN system were evacuated by the UN & taken to third countries. We also established that 10 Ugandans had been evacuated on flights to London. They are now in a 14-day quarantine & thereafter will travel to Uganda” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has through its contact also established that there are now two Ugandans present in Kabul and that arrangements are being made to repatriate them. He said that efforts are still underway to establish the presence of any other Ugandans in Afghanistan.