Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Ugandan authorities have implemented a significant change in the registration process for elderly and disabled Sudanese refugees, aiming to enhance their access to essential services. Previously, refugees were required to register at the distant Kiryandongo refugee camp, located 400 km away from the capital. However, they can now complete their registration in Kampala, alleviating the burden of travel and facilitating better access to necessary support systems.

The decision was formally announced by Sudanese Ambassador to Uganda, Ahmed Ibrahim, during a meeting held with refugees in Kampala on Tuesday, March 22nd. Ambassador Ibrahim addressed concerns raised by Sudanese refugees regarding living conditions within the camps and emphasized the ongoing efforts to improve their situation. He stated that the embassy is actively engaging with refugee camp officials to streamline the registration process and provide necessary assistance. Additionally, regular meetings between Ugandan and Sudanese officials are being conducted to address refugee concerns comprehensively.

According to statistics provided by the UNHCR, Uganda has accommodated over 22,000 Sudanese refugees since the eruption of armed conflict between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces on April 15th of the previous year. Despite the loss of direct borders with Sudan following South Sudan’s independence, Uganda remains a preferred destination for Sudanese refugees, especially individuals such as businessmen, journalists, activists, and students.

Ambassador Ibrahim also announced the imminent launch of passport services and underscored the embassy’s role as a vital resource for all Sudanese residing in Uganda. He emphasized the importance of unity among Sudanese refugees in addressing challenges collectively, highlighting the need to dispel misconceptions regarding their economic status and foster partnerships focused on development, cultural exchange, and positive societal transformation within Uganda.

In a reciprocal commitment to addressing refugee issues, Ugandan Ambassador to Sudan, Rashid Yahya, expressed plans to present a memorandum to President Museveni, emphasizing the prioritization of educational concerns affecting Sudanese refugees. Ambassador Yahya reiterated President Museveni’s receptiveness to hearing refugee concerns and stressed the importance of establishing a joint mechanism for addressing critical matters affecting the Sudanese refugee community.

Furthermore, Ambassador Yahya proposed a tiered approach to resolving refugee-related issues, suggesting that while certain matters could be addressed by relevant ministries, more significant concerns should be brought to the attention of the president. He also highlighted the existence of an investment body aimed at supporting Sudanese entrepreneurs and reaffirmed his commitment to surmounting obstacles faced by Sudanese individuals across various sectors within Uganda.

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