On Thursday, while speaking at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) meeting held at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda’s Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Mr Hilary Onek said it was high time these refugees go back home.
“Some countries have become politically stable; so refugees from there should go back and settle. Some of them keep going and coming back,” he said.
He also complained that some of the refugees, instead of reciprocating the hospitality afforded by the government and Ugandan hosts, had turned into enemies.
“Of late, some people have started quarrelling with us and yet we looked after them, we gave them opportunities, education and good accommodation. All of a sudden, they have become our enemies over nothing. We only ask God to deal with them because we have done nothing,” he added.
It was not lost, however, to the high-level experts and ministerial meeting on jobs, livelihoods and self-reliance for refugees, returnees and host communities that the announcement comes in the wake of renewed animosity between Uganda and Rwanda.
Since early this year, the two neighbouring countries have experienced a resurgence of hostility with each complaining that the other was hosting hostile elements hellbent to destabilizes each respective government.
Rwanda on its part continues to accuse Uganda of unfairly targeting its citizens by detaining and accusing them of being spies with no consular services provided to them. Rwanda also accused Uganda of supporting rebels opposed to the government in Kigali, a claim which Kampala firmly rebutted.