7 July 2013

Ugandan Mission in Egypt Wants Students Evacuated

THE Ugandan Embassy in Egypt has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organise for the evacuation of students from the north east African country.

This comes after Egyptian security forces opened fire on supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, killing four people on Friday. The constitutional court top judge, Adly Mahmud Mansour has since been installed as the country's interim leader.

Uganda's ambassador to Egypt, Richard Angualia, told New Vision that he had sent a notice to the foreign affairs ministry highlighting the fragile situation in the country and asked Uganda to facilitate the evacuation of Ugandan students.

Angualia explained that he sent the notice after scores of supporters of the former president started attacking people in various areas in Cairo shortly after Friday prayers.

He said seven Ugandan female students studying at Cairo University had sought refuge at the embassy offices following the escalation in violence. Angualia could not establish the number of Ugandan students in the country, but said there are about 1,000 Ugandans in Egypt, most of them doing business.

He said by yesterday there was no word from Alexandria, Arab Academy and Azhar universities, where Ugandans students under sponsorship of the Ugandan Government and Uganda Muslim Supreme Council are studying.

"Our focus is still on Cairo University which is a hot spot. The good thing is that some students are in Uganda for holidays, but there are some who remained and we are trying to see how we can evacuate them," he added.

The permanent secretary of the foreign affairs, ministry James Mugume confirmed that they had received a notice from the Ugandan embassy in Cairo, but explained that they would keep monitoring the situation before a resolution can be made.

Ugandans were caught up in a similar uprising in Egypt in 2011 that resulted into the overthrow of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak after two weeks of street protests.

Uganda evacuated 40 students and diplomats from Egypt at the height of street demonstrations.

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