4, January 2018
Uganda’s government has rejected claims by the Israeli regime that it had agreed to take in nearly 40,000 African refugees after Tel Aviv initiated a plan to force them into leaving the occupied territories.
The denial on Thursday came only a day after Israel launched the program to coerce some 38,000 mostly Eritreans and Sudanese refugees to leave without even specifying where they would go.
Israeli activists claim that the Tel Aviv regime has signed agreements with Rwanda and Uganda under which the two impoverished African nations have agreed to accept the departing asylum seekers.
However, Uganda’s Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem insisted that his country never entered into such a deal and was disturbed by the reports.
There was no immediate reaction to the Israeli claim from officials in Rwanda.
Under the plan, the Africans have been given until March 31 to leave Israel, each getting a plane ticket as well as $3,500. Those who refuse to leave will face arrest.
“From what we know, Uganda is a party to the amended agreement, allowing that people can be coerced into leaving,” Adi Drori-Avraham from the Israel-based Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (ASSAF) said.
He said Uganda has “for years been denying that it has some kind of deal with Israel,” but such arrangements with African asylum seekers are nothing new.