By allowing Ugandans to return home, government is not re-opening the international airport to regular passenger flights.
ENTEBBE | COVID-19 | REPATRIATION
Uganda will have repatriated 853 persons before the close of this week, according ambassador Alfred Nnam the head of public diplomacy and also a spokesperson for ministry of foreign affairs. Ambassador Nnam made the revelation on Thursday night at Entebbe airport, while receiving two groups of Ugandans who came back aboard Ethiopian and Uganda airlines.
The first group that landed at 5pm aboard Ethiopian airlines, comprised Ugandans from the United Kingdom, Iceland and Ireland whereas the second group which came aboard Uganda Airlines consisted of Ugandans from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Eswatini.
In his remarks, ambassador Nnam said, the repatriation exercise started on June 22, with returnees from Turkey followed by those from Sudan, Netherlands and Belgium on June 23.
"From Afghanistan on June 28, we received 91 persons whereas from India on June 30, we received 26 Ugandans," noted ambassador Nnam. En-route to Uganda from the UK, the Ethiopian aircraft also picked Ugandans from Italy, Denmark and Egypt totaling 150 persons.
While welcoming returnees on June 23, Henry Okello Oryem the minister of state for foreign affairs noted that 300 people would be repatriated every fortnight. With a total of 853 by July 4, Uganda will have repatriated more persons than earlier anticipated.
In justification, ambassador Nnam said, more returnees have been received due to the growing capacity and availability of facilities to handle them.
Meanwhile, Cornwell Muleya the Chief Executive Officer for Uganda airlines noted that the national carrier is important in such situations, when there are issues regarding travel and connectivity. "Ugandans are now reaping the benefits of their investment," expressed Muleya.
The foreign affairs minister earlier explained that, by allowing Ugandans to return home, government is not re-opening the international airport to regular passenger flights.
All the returning travellers are required to meet the cost of their own travel back home as has been the international practice for many countries.