NewsEast & Horn AfricaUganda denies hosting Israel deportees

Tue,22Jul2014

Posted on Friday, 21 February 2014 16:09

Uganda denies hosting Israel deportees

By Godfrey Olukya

Ugandan authorities have denied reports that the country has started receiving some of the 55,000 immigrants and asylum seekers facing deportation from Israel.

 

Israeli newspaper, Haaretz on Thursday reported that Uganda was secretly receiving African refugees deported from the Middle East country.

I have checked with Entebbe international airport and all other roads entry points

Haaretz claimed a Sudanese citizen who had been detained at the Saharonim Detention Centre in Israel was flown to Uganda, where he was re-united with family.

It added on that the man rung his colleagues still in Israel and said that he had met some of the former migrants that had settled in Uganda.

Early February, the same Haaretz published an article about the harsh conditions faced by an illegal migrant imprisoned at Saharonim in the Israeli desert.

Ugandan foreign affairs ministry spokesman, Fred Opolot refuted the reports, saying he was not aware of such arrangements.

"It is not true that we are receiving deportees from Israel. The ministry of foreign affairs has no information to that effect. That information is not true," he said.

An official at the immigration offices in Kampala, Diana Nambafu also said she was not aware of deportees being brought into Uganda.

She said that she had crosschecked with the only international airport in the country, Entebbe airport, but was told no deportees had been flown in from Israel.

"Uganda is a small country and if such people were brought in, it would not take long for Ugandans to learn about it," Nambafu said.

"I have checked with Entebbe international airport and all other roads entry points and there are no cases of deportees from Israel."

Opposition politician, Amos Amuge has requested parliament to investigate the allegations, arguing that it was likely some government officials had been bribed to secretly allow such deportees into the country.

"If non Ugandans were found with Ugandan passports in Asian countries, is it impossible for some deportees to be secretly brought into the country? Parliament should investigate the allegations," he said.

Recently, some West Africans, allegedly in possession of Ugandan passports, were arrested in China and other Asian nations and deported to the East African nation.

Uganda's immigration department has often been accused of corruption and issuing passports, including diplomatic travel documents to non Ugandans.



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