By Alex Muhumuza
Ugandan authorities this Wednesday, 3 April 2019, dumped four Rwandans at the Cyanika Border. That followed similar dumping the day before, Tuesday 2 April, when Ugandan authorities dumped 6 Rwandans at the Kagitumba Border Post.
The Ugandans dumped a total of 10 Rwandans in less than 48 hours. As usual with such acts by Ugandan authorities, this was done in complete disregard not only of the human rights of the deported Rwandans, but it also was done in violation of EAC Common Market laws on freedom of movements of persons, services, and commerce.
The accusations for which the Ugandan security agencies imprisoned, then dumped the innocent Rwandan citizens is that they were in Uganda illegally.
That however cannot be the case, because each and every one of these people have national IDs that clearly indicate they are Rwandans – a member state of the East African Community. But since Kampala adopted a hostile stance of harassment, illegal arrests, illegal detention accompanied by torture, Uganda’s security agencies have adopted a lawless stance when it comes to nationals of Rwanda.
Our sources tell us the four (women and one baby) that Uganda Police deported – on 3 April – had been (illegally) arrested in Kisoro, and detained in Kisoro Prison on accusations of illegal entry, or stay in Uganda.
They are: Uwiduhaye Aline, a 22-year old woman from Nyabihu District who was with her baby of 5 months when they were detained illegally for 8 months in Kisoro Prison. Nyirantabaruke Adella, 54, also from Nyabihu, who too was detained for 8 months in Kisoro Prison. Uwayisenga Claudine, 20, of Kicukiro District, also detained for 8 months in the same prison. Mukangwije Francine, 23, from Musanze who suffered the same length of incarceration as the others.
These women were arrested, even when they showed their travel passes, IDs, and stated their purpose of visit: which was to see relatives and friends in Uganda. What the women said about being jailed, even when they had shown their travel and ID documents, has been said by many others before them.
The day before, on Tuesday at around 5 pm, a similar scene played out at the Kagitumba Border. Uganda immigration officials deported six Rwandans – all from Nyagatare District – who were arrested and detained in Ntungamo Prison for three months, all on the same concocted accusations of illegal entry or stay.
They are Mugisha Hamed, 30, Ndagijimana Bosco, 25, Shyaka Vedaste, 22, Maniragaba Tharcise, 32, Nizeyimana Mupenzi, 28, and Nsengimana Emmanuel, 34.
At the beginning of last month Rwanda took the extra-ordinary step to strongly advise its citizens against travel to Uganda, citing cases of arbitrary arrests and jailing of its nationals, harassment and jailing with no allowance for consular visits, and other rights abuses.