By Spy Uganda
Uganda was the country of destination for the largest number of refugees in the region in 2021, a new report dubbed the State of Migration in East and Horn of Africa has revealed.
By playing host to 1.6 million refugees and asylum seekers, Uganda ranked third most hospitable country for refugees in the world after the US and Turkiye.
The report states that 61 per cent of the refugees and asylum seekers were from South Sudan while DRC accounted for 29 per cent.
“This is close to 10 times the number of refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda in 2011 (163,000),” the report said.
The rise in the number was largely attributed to large-scale violence that erupted in South Sudan in July 2016.
Sudan, with 1.1 million refugees and asylum seekers, held the sixth place worldwide in 2021.
The remaining top five countries of destination for refugees in the region were Ethiopia (824,000), Kenya (540,000) and the DRC (526,000).
Ongoing conflicts, particularly in the DRC, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan is said to have given rise to some of the largest outflows of refugees in sub-Saharan Africa.
“However, countries of destination for refugees are often neighbouring countries within the region, which shows that refugee flows are primarily contained within the region; 93 per cent of the overall refugee population remained in the region,” the report indicates.
Uganda’s Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hillary Onek said the government was ready to work with other countries to implement the recommendations of the report.
Uganda, he affirmed, has over the years continued to receive thousands of refugees fleeing their homelands mainly due to political conflicts, economic, health and education reasons.
Onek noted that Uganda is in support of the decision to make migration more safe and regular.
“Therefore, the proposals by the African Union to dialogue with the Gulf countries on freedom and rights of African migrants is a welcomed initiative,” he remarked.
“This region should work closely to ensure that citizens of Africa are respected, protected and supported to harness their full potential wherever they go,” Onek said.