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Africa shows the way with Uganda and Rwanda opening doors to Afghan refugees

Representational image. Afghan refugees find shelter in African countries (Pic Courtesy Twitter/@Mirwaiskk)

The first airplane carrying 51 Afghan refugees arrived in Uganda’s Entebbe, a town on the Lake Victoria peninsula on August 25. Uganda has agreed to play host to 2000 refugees. In the coming weeks more refugees will land in the African nation.

“They will stay in hotels while American officials review their applications for resettlement in the United States and elsewhere, a process which could take months,” the Economist said.

While Uganda is one of the few countries that has opened its doors to Afghans at this critical juncture, Rwanda too has agreed to host Afghan students and staff of an only all-girls boarding school.

Also read: Airbnb to open homes for 20,000 Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban's advance in Afghanistan

"As the largest bilateral supporter of refugees in Uganda and their Ugandan host communities, the United States expresses its appreciation to the Ugandan people for their generosity and hospitality toward these communities,” the US Mission Uganda tweeted.

However, the move has also sparked fears. According to reports locals in Uganda fear that this could lead to a backlash from the Taliban sympathisers. “Many are Islamist militant groups with some form of affiliation to al-Qaeda, an organization the United Nations (UN) has said shares links with the Taliban in Afghanistan,” the German news organisation Deutsche Welle (DW) said in a report.

"Afghan refugees may turn the attention of international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, al-Shabab, and ISIS to Uganda and destabilize the country," the news organisation quoted Mwambutsya Ndebesa, historian and lecturer at Makerere University in Kampala, as saying.