By Charles Katabalwa
25th March 2020
In respect to protect the country from COVID-19 Pandemic, government has suspended receiving new refugees and asylum seekers for a period of 30 days.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala today Musa Ecweru, the Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness said, whereas Uganda has an open-door policy for refugees and asylum seekers, they have suspended receiving all new arrivals with immediate effect for a period of 30 days in respect to the presidential directive to close al boarder points..
Ecweru however said besides closure of boarder points Uganda still has the obligation to support all refugees who are already in the country but appealed for strict observance of the set COVID-19 guidelines issued by Ministry of Health.
He has disclosed that all reception centres at the borders such as Sebagoro, Nyakabande, Matanda, Elegu and Ntoroko as well as the Department of Refugees offices in Kampala and Old Kampala Police Desk RefugeeOffice will be closed with immediate effect for a period of 30 days and the transit centres will be decongested and later closed.
Meanwhile he has warned them over movement from one settlement to another
Uganda currently hosts the largest refugee population in Africa with 1,411,098 refugees and asylum seekers as of February 29, 2020 hosted in 13 districts of Adjumani, Arua, Moyo, Yumbe, Lamwo, Kiryandongo, Kyegeegwa, Kamwenge, Isingiro, Obongi, Koboko, Kikuube plus 79,958 refugees in Kampala City.