Pope Francis praises Uganda’s welcome of refugees
By Devin Watkins
Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja met on Monday with Pope Francis at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
The encounter lasted around 25 minutes and saw the Pope and the prime minister discuss various issues, according to Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office.
“Among the topics covered during the conversation, the Pope was touched by the welcome generously extended by Ugandan institutions to migrants and refugees, not only from the African region, but as far as Central Asian countries,” he said.
Uganda hosts some 1.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, according to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR. Many of them hail from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi.
Gifts symbolizing peace
Pope Francis and Ms. Nabbanja also engaged in the customary exchange of gifts.
The Pope gave Uganda’s prime minister a bronze statue representing a dove carrying an olive branch in its beak. The statue bears the inscription: “Be messengers of peace”.
He also offered Ms. Nabbanja copies of several papal documents, including the Pope’s message for this year’s World Day of Peace, the Document on Human Fraternity, and a book on the Statio Orbis on 27 March 2020, published by the Vatican’s Publishing House.