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Uganda to host 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan

Evacuees crowd the interior of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, carrying some 640 Afghans to Qatar from Kabul, Afghanistan August 15, 2021. Picture was taken August 15, 2021. Courtesy of Defense One/Handout via REUTERS]

Uganda will temporarily host 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan, the State  Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees minister has said.

The Daily Monitor reported that Esther Anyakun was acting on a request from the US government that was approved by President Yoweri Museveni.

The refugees will be accommodated for three months as the US government meets the expenses.

"We expect to host them temporarily before they can be relocated by the US government," Anyakun said.

The Daily Monitor stated the first batch of 500 refugees was expected yesterday but they did not arrive.

"We are expecting- they might come any time since it’s an emergency landing. They have requested us to host 2,000. They will be received in shifts," she explained.

President Joe Biden said on Monday he stood "squarely behind" his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan despite searing images of chaos in Kabul that exposed the limits of U.S. power and plunged him into the worst crisis of his presidency.

Breaking his silence on the U.S. pullout after scenes of bedlam dominated television news channels for days, Biden blamed the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan on Afghan political leaders who fled the country and the unwillingness of the U.S.-trained Afghan army to fight the militant group.

He warned Taliban leaders they would face "devastating force" should they interfere with the U.S. pullout. Biden was forced to send U.S. troop reinforcements to Kabul to ensure a safe withdrawal of American diplomatic personnel and civilians as well as Afghan citizens who worked with the United States and could face reprisals.

The panicked evacuation, coming weeks after Biden predicted the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan was not inevitable, has dented America's image on the global stage just as Biden has sought to emphasize to world leaders that "America is back" after former President Donald Trump's tumultuous four years.

The pullout has also raised fears that militant groups like al Qaeda could reconstitute under Taliban rule.

Biden, rejecting harsh criticism of his Afghan policy from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some former generals and human rights groups, was resolute in defending his withdrawal from a 20-year war that endured through four presidencies.