UGANDA TO HOST REFUGEE SOLIDARITY SUMMIT

KAMPALA, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have agreed to convene a "Refugee Solidarity Summit" in Kampala to pave way for solutions to the increasing influx of refugees into Uganda and the sub-region.

According to Hilary Onek, the Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Uganda will use the summit to solicit support to cope with the more than 1.2 million refugees in Uganda, mainly South Sudanese who have fled their country ever since conflict broke out in the world's youngest nation in December 2013.

Briefing journalists at the Office of the Prime Minister here Tuesday, Onek said the two-day summit would take place in June.

Speaking at the same media briefing, Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Co-ordinator and Resident Representative in Uganda, said the need to share the burden of hosting refugees was the spirit behind the refugee summit.

During the summit, Malango said, delegates from all over the world, would conduct field visits to refugee camps and also deliberate on mechanisms to support the unique comprehensive refugee settlement model which Uganda has implemented over the years.

The possibility of adopting the Uganda refugee model by the UN and the African Union (AU) is the other issue which delegates will debate.

Under the Uganda refugee settlement model, refugees enjoy almost similar rights as citizens, share resources, move freely, mingle in society and also access government services such as health and education without any hindrance.

Uganda has an open-door policy on refugee reception and settlement, a model which Malango has described as the best in the world, especially when it comes to the protection of rights of refugees.

Bornwell Kantande, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Uganda, said 2,000 refugees cross into Uganda daily.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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