Thursday, July 28, 2016

Refugees a Blessing to Uganda says Museveni

By Esther Nakkazi

Since 17th July 2016, the total number of South Sudanese refugees that have arrived in Uganda is 37,890 according to UNHCR. 73 percent of all refugee new arrivals are children.

Two days ago at the joint political leadership of the NRM that included the central executive committee, cabinet and permanent secretaries President Museveni said Uganda caring for African refugees brought by adversity, is not just charity. It is also good strategy.

He elaborated how the Banyarwanda comrades were supported when they stayed in Uganda as refugees for 34 years (1960-1994). When they gained ascendance in Rwanda, they opened it up for interaction, including trade, with East Africa. Today Uganda exports US$263 million worth of goods and services to Rwanda. Rwanda, in turn, is exporting US$78 million worth of goods to Uganda.

And through Rwanda Airlines, Uganda is currently contributing about US$ 24.1 million to the prosperity of the people of Rwanda. South Sudan, before the outbreak of the conflict in 2013, was contributing US$ 700 million per annum (exports and remittances) to the prosperity of the people of Uganda.

Recently, about 40,000 Ugandans came back from South Sudan on account of the present conflict there. They were there apparently looking for prosperity.

Therefore, Ugandans should know that unity within Uganda and Pan-Africanism in the whole of Africa are not mere acts of solidarity but are also investments to create a better framework for the prosperity of all Africans said Museveni.

“I, therefore, salute Ugandans for welcoming our brothers and sisters, the African refugees as well as other African business persons. It is the cumulative, Pan-Africanist efforts of as many Africans as are enlightened on this point that will guarantee the prosperity of the African people,” he concluded.

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