On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own refugee days and even weeks. One of the most widespread is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on 20 June in several countries.
The UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
The General Assembly therefore decided that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day.
Tens of thousands of refugees, mostly women and children, have been arriving in Tanzania, pouring over the border from Burundi. Over 140,000 refugees have already arrived in Tanzania where they been provide clean water, shelter and food, but the huge influx of people is over-stretching the capacity to respond, as emergency aid workers and the government of Tanzania struggle to meet these urgent demands. Nyarugusu camp has already overflowed into schools and churches.
In the same vein, Uganda is the ninth largest refugee hosting country in the world. UNHCR has also applauded Uganda for the good conducive environment accorded to the refugees unlike in other countries that close their doors observing that worldwide refugees were estimated to be over 60 million while 86 per cent of them were being hosted by developing countries which remain a burden to them.
Uganda is now home to more refugees than any time in history and has become the ninth largest refugee hosting country in the world and third in this region. We are therefore asking global powers to stop being passive observers or distant players to the conflicts that are driving so many from their homes.
It is now urgent that powers that have influence over those involved in conflict put aside their differences and create the conditions to end bloodshed.”
However, we should warn that refugees living in East Afirca should to stay off politics. The governments laws are not made specifically for anybody but for law breakers. They should instead enjoy the peace accorded by the governments, and concentrate on refugee activities.
Our treatment and handling of refugees has been hailed by international community and UNHCR. We are proud as a county to be associated with this noble cause.