Some 238 Ugandans were repatriated back to their home country on Saturday, thanks to the close collaboration between the Ugandan embassy in Doha, the State of Qatar and the Ugandan government.
“We are grateful to the Qatar government, the ministries of foreign affairs of the two countries, especially the efforts of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Protocol director ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, for making it easy for us to repatriate our compatriots back home,” Ugandan ambassador Dr Stephen Chemoiko Chebrot told Gulf Times.
Apart from Ugandan expatriates in Doha, the ambassador noted that a number of Ugandan expatriates from other countries such as Japan, Australia and Lebanon, who were earlier stranded were also put on the flight.
The envoy was joined by a number of community leaders (Uganda Peninsula Community Qatar (UPCQ) led by its chairman Benson Akampumuza) to see off their compatriots at Hamad International Airport (HIA).
Akampumuza echoed Dr Chebrot’s statement, thanking the embassy, MoFA and the ministries of health of both countries “for the support and guidance that led us to this remarkable day amidst the pandemic”.
Dr Chebrot said the Qatar Airways chartered flight left Doha around 11:30am on Saturday and was expected to arrive at Entebbe International Airport around 5.30pm. A second repatriation flight is scheduled for July 24.
“The whole process of preparing our compatriots’ repatriation was smooth, including their Covid-19 PCR (polymerise chain reaction) tests,” said Dr Chebrot.
A PCR test is the standard test used to determine whether an individual is infected with Covid-19, Hamad Medical Corporation had recently stressed.
The envoy expressed optimism that many of his compatriots, who considered Qatar their second home, would be able to return and work again in the country post Covid-19.
Dr Chebrot noted that close to 10,000 Ugandans are currently living in Qatar and involved in various projects for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022.
He stressed that such collaboration would further strengthen the excellent bilateral relations between Qatar and Uganda.