By Martha Mbabazi
In yet another show of contempt for international law, Ugandan authorities have dumped six Rwandan nationals at Gatuna Border after they were illegally detained for six months.
Tuyisingize Laurien, 19, Ukwizagira Jean Claude, 21, Ntabuzuye Jean Bosco. 25, Ndicunguye Patience, 21, Ntizimira James 42, and Uwayezu Festo 24, are the most recent Rwandans to be dumped – something that happened in the evening of Thursday this week, around 8:45 pm. They come from different districts in Rwanda.
Ugandan security agencies abducted each of them separately, in south western Uganda, then took them to police cells. Soon they were taken to Ndorwa Prison, Kabale where they were incarcerated without due process. Each one of these Rwandan citizens were accused of “illegal entry” even though each one of them says they had entered Uganda legally.
By now ever since the Museveni regime decided on hostile relations with Rwanda, very many Rwandans have suffered the consequences. In the first place, according to attorneys, the issue of “illegal entry” shouldn’t rise at all where any citizen of a member state of the East African Common Market is concerned. It is enough for one to prove that he or she is a citizen of a member to enter and travel freely into another member state, according to the protocols establishing the EAC Common Market, ratified by all the member states, including Uganda in 2010.
“It is really something incredible how the Museveni regime is so willing to casually break international law, specifically on free movement of Rwandans,” commented a Kigali-based lawyer that didn’t want his name disclosed. Currently there are over a thousand Rwandans languishing in various Ugandan jails and prisons that have been locked up on the concocted charge of “illegal entry”.
The six Rwandan nationals dumped the day before yesterday spent six months suffering torture that included beatings, and eating very bad food. Trouble for each one of them began during their daily work, going about their business as usual. The arrests were abrupt, with no explanation at all, for each.
They discovered that being a Rwandan was enough of a crime to go through the hell they went through, in prisons where they worked them like donkeys. When any of the victims asked to at least be told the reason why they were so harshly arrested yet they had committed no crime, he either was slapped or kicked, or was verbally abused.
Ntizimira James, even when their Ugandan abductors behaved in the most aggressive manner, refused to keep quiet and kept challenging them to provide any proof for the allegations against him. None was given. After a time, each of the six victims says, they feared that their lives were in danger. They had already heard stories of so many fellow Rwandans that had been abducted in similar ways.
They already knew of the harrowing tales of torture in the dungeons of Ugandan security agencies, and ungazetted houses of detention, and some even ending up dead. Now they were in Ndorwa Prison and ended up killed or tortured beyond human understanding said Ntabuzuye Jean Bosco.
Tuyisingize Laurien, the youngest pleaded for his freedom since he knew nothing of what was going on. He says he could imagine himself being murdered by the merciless men who mocked him and relished his pain. They found a big number of other Rwandans in Ndorwa, many that have been rotting in that prison for more than 2 years.
“It is a terrible place indeed and only the luckiest people walk out of that place with their health,” said Tuyisingize. He disclosed that even when a Rwandan is badly injured and suffering they will not give them any medical assistance.
Ever since Kampala decided to partner with Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC with a goal to destabilize Rwanda, Ugandan security agencies have worked with RNC operatives in Uganda, with recruitment as a major goal. Incarceration and torture – until someone agrees to join RNC so as to save his life – is one of the methods they have been using. That is according to so many individuals that have survived the dungeons of agencies like Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI.
It hasn’t been very effective however because almost all Rwandans mistreated, beaten in the most horrific ways still refuse to join the traitorous RNC.
Other innocent Rwandans resident in Uganda have been targetted probably because CMI and RNC operatives have identified them as a source of funds – to be extorted – or materiel. Those that refuse will find themselves arrested or abducted on made up accusations that include “espionage”, or “illegal entry”, or “illegal weapons possession.”
“That is the reason you will here these huge numbers of Rwandans in Ugandan prisons, but you never hear of court trials for them,” said the attorney we interviewed for this article. “Their jailers know they have no case.”