Gov’t to negotiate Visa extensions for Ugandans stuck abroad

Uganda Passport

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reiterated that government does not intend to evacuate Ugandans stuck abroad following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown.

Government recently started registration of Ugandans who had traveled abroad temporarily but this brought excitement of a possible plan to evacuate them. Other countries like Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopians are repatriating citizens.

Now although it was reported in the press that government will evacuate 1,000 citizens stuck abroad starting from Africa, this has been dismissed as false by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem.

Oryem in an interview with this publication said that the registration is simply for taking stock but most importantly in the event when there is need, they will negotiate with the countries that Ugandans are to be considered to extend their Visa’s for those whose visas had expired, help them buy food and medical services for anybody registered with the embassies.

The State Minister for Foreign Affairs said that these are still proposals and it will depend on the negotiations with the particular countries.

Oryem said that the matter of repatriation of Ugandans has never come up and it is also not true that the cabinet was discussing the matter.

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He said their position currently is that the President’s first address on the matter stands and that the citizens should remain in the country that they are in while the situation normalizes.

He says that they hope to use the model they used in China, Wuhan were some stranded students were supported by the Chinese government with food, medication and some facilitation.

He says the essence of registration of Ugandans abroad is simply because every Ugandan abroad needs to register when they travel abroad but they are also taking on this time to register Ugandans for documentation.

During this time of the COVID-19, many countries have relaxed their immigration enforcement until the situation normalizes.