Uganda mulls Israeli request to take African migrants

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Ms Agnes Lamunu, one of the locals in the area, said that those who disguise themselves as refugees are desperately looking for food since most of them have had poor harvests due to the prolonged dry spell that hit the district. Image courtesy: LWF Uganda

 

After previously denying any deal with Israel to accept African migrants deported from the Jewish state, Uganda is now considering a request from Israel to take in 500 migrants from Eritrea and Sudan. This being the first time the East African nation has acknowledged it is in talks over such a deal.

In a statement, the Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Musa Ecweru said “the state of Israel working with other refugees managing organizations has requested Uganda to allow about 500 Eritreans and Sudanese to relocate to Uganda. The government and ministry are positively considering the request.”

About 4,000 migrants have left Israel for Rwanda and Uganda since 2013 under a voluntary program but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under pressure from his right-wing voter base to expel thousands more.

In January, Israel started handing out notices to male migrants from Eritrea and Sudan giving them three months to take the voluntary deal with a plane ticket and $3,500 or risk being jailed.

Government representatives told the court earlier this week that an envoy was in an African country finalizing a deportation deal after an arrangement with Rwanda to take migrants expelled under the new measures fell through.

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