A total of 154 Ugandans have been deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after protracted negotiations by the Ugandan embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson has revealed. Daily Monitor reports that some of the deportees had committed offenses and were serving jail sentences.
THE BIG PICTURE: There are more than 30,000 Ugandans working and living in the UAE, minus those staying there illegally. UAE is one of the key destinations for about 65,000 Ugandan workers exported to the Middle East that brought home $1.37b (about Shs5 trillion) last year. Other Africans have been flocking in the Arab world for the search of jobs in order to support their families.
The Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs revelations come after police in Dubai released a list of 38 Ugandans who were being held in Al Awiir Central jail, one of Dubai’s biggest prisons. Eleven of these are women while three are serving life sentences for drug trafficking.
Daily Monitor reports the Ministry saying: “We know we have Ugandans in jail in UAE but our embassy has negotiated with the arresting government and have given us a grace period stretching from September 1 to October 30 as a waiver to identify Ugandans in jail, stand surety for them and get them deported,”
WHY IT MATTERS: Arab countries such as UAE, Oman, and others have been recorded as a hub for African illegal migrants where they are swayed by reports of promising jobs, promises of thousands of dollars in the Arab Countries. But the fact is that those African migrants have been subjected to the form of modern slavery such being sexual slaves to their masters, working hard, as some of those Africans confirm.
Countries of the East African Community have been recorded as having people flocking to the Arab world where they have to suffer a lot before sending a single penny back at home.
Some of the 38 Ugandans on the deportation list had been charged with drug trafficking and sentenced to life imprisonment. Though the other persons are being held, the list does not stipulate how long they will stay in jail. One Ugandan was jailed for kidnapping while four were jailed for forgery.
Travelers warned of the underlying issues related to traveling to the Arab World.
Travelers traveling to the Arab World faces the ‘unprecedented and unnoticed drawbacks in their search for the better promising jobs where they risk the sexual harassment, rape, human trafficking and more.
The detailed list as per September 18 also had some Ugandans arrested for an unlawful stay, working with a non-sponsor and unlawful return after the previous deportation.
One Ugandan was charged with unjustified refusal to settle a debt and another for destroying property. Two were charged with alcohol abuse while another was indicted for fraud and seizure of someone’s money. Another was held for embezzlement and one for theft.
Ugandans traveling to the UAE are advised to be careful because minor offenses in Uganda constitute big crimes there.
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