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First Afghan evacuees arrive in Uganda

TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN - AUGUST 17: In this handout image provided by the Bundeswehr, evacuees from Kabul sit inside a military aircraft as they arrive at Tashkent Airport on August 17, 2021 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. One of three German military planes evacuated some 131 people from Kabul airport to the Uzbek capital of Tashkent before reaching their final destination in Germany. (Photo by Marc Tessensohn/Bundeswehr via Getty Images)

KAMPALA, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Uganda on Wednesday received 51 people evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept back into power, but officials said they would stay temporarily until resettled by the United States and other nations.

The evacuees included men, women and children, a statement by the Foreign Ministry said, adding they had undergone security screening and COVID-19 quarantine procedures.

They are in transit to the United States and other countries, the statement said.

Ugandan nationals in Afghanistan were meant to arrive on the same flight but were unable to do so due to challenges in accessing the airport in Kabul, the statement said. Arrangements were being made for them to return home on another flight, it said.

The United States and its allies have evacuated more than 70,000 people, including their citizens and Afghans at risk, since Aug. 14, as they rush to complete evacuations by the Aug. 31 deadline for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.

Last week, Uganda said it had agreed to a request from the United States to temporarily take in 2,000 Afghans fleeing the country.

Uganda has a long history of hosting refugees fleeing wars and strife in the region and is currently home to 1.4 million, mostly from South Sudan. (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Ayenat Mersie and Janet Lawrence)

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