By Patience Kirabo
Ugandan authorities have unceremoniously dumped fifteen innocent Rwandans at the Kagitumba One-Stop Border Post this Wednesday, 15 September.
The fifteen, all men dumped in two separate groups, had been illegally detained, incommunicado in Mbarara and Ntungamo Central Police Stations for weeks and months before being dumped without their belongings. The members of Ugandan security forces that arbitrarily arrested them also robbed them of their money in cash and on Mobile Money accounts. They were accused of “illegal entry” and “illegal stay” in Uganda. “That a total lie!” the victims assert. “They only targeted us because of our nationality,” said one of those dumped today.
The Ugandan regime continues to harass Rwandan nationals in Uganda in violation of all laws, including the conditions stipulated in the Luanda MoU to desist from mistreatment of each other’s nationals.
The victimization of Rwandans in Uganda sees no end in sight, with Kampala security forces continually abusing the rights of Rwandans, most especially Ugandan Military Intelligence, CMI. “This can only be happening with specific instructions from their leaders, because they do it with such impunity,” said a Rwandan border official who spoke off the record.
The victims dumped today narrated how Ugandan security forces are hunting Rwandans to extort them, while locking them up on cooked up accusations. “This harassment is really bad in Kabale, Mbarara, and Kisoro districts by members of the Ugandan army (UPDF). To them, as a Munyarwanda whether born, raised, or even settled and married in the country you are a fair target,” says Jean Damascene Nsanzamahoro one of those dumped.
According to their testimonies, people of Rwandan origin in Kabale, Kisoro, and Mbarara live in fear of losing their families, children, and even life.
The victims are currently placed in quarantine following a routine health check, given that the Ugandan authorities did not follow Covid-19 prevention standard procedures, whether during detention or during transportation. Three of the victims tested positive for Covid-19 and are already undergoing treatment.