June 19, 2013

Gen. Mugambage Denies Reports of Hit Squad Targeting Refugees

Rwandan Ambassador to Uganda, Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage
Rwandan Ambassador to Uganda, Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage

Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage, the Rwandan Ambassador in Uganda has reacted angrily to suggestions that there is a hit squad targeting Rwandan asylum seekers. Several Rwandan refugees have either been shot or gone missing from Kampala under mysterious circumstances. Last year, Charles Ingabire, an editor of an online magazine and Sergeant Dominic Sabagasani, both Rwandan refugees were shot dead in Kampala by unknown assailants. Joel Mutabazi, another Rwandan refugee survived an attempt on his life when unidentified gunmen shot at him.

On March 26, this year Emmy Ntabana another Rwandan asylum seeker was kidnapped from Namungoona and taken to unidentified location.  The latest victim of the suspected Rwandan hit squad is Francois Tuyihimbaze Rucogoza, the former Chief Negotiator of M23 rebels who was allegedly kidnapped by Rwandan operatives and taken to Kigali. No suspects have been arrested in connection to all the attacks on Rwandan asylum seekers.Last week 16 Rwandan students who fled into Uganda refused to leave Old Kampala Police station after they were allegedly intimidated by John Ngarambe, the first secretary at the Rwanda High Commission.

The students feared they would forcefully be returned to Rwanda against their will. The Rwandan asylum seekers blame their woes on the Rwandan Embassy led by Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage, which they accuse of hosting a hit squad targeting those suspected to be opposed to the Kigali regime. On Tuesday during a press conference our reporter drew a furious reaction from Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage when he asked him to comment on the existence of a hit squad targeting refugees. Mugambage lost his cool and stood to stress that he was the Ambassador of Rwanda accredited to Uganda with full diplomatic immunity

Mugambage, who had earlier on promised to speak freely on issues related to Rwanda declined to respond to claim that the embassy was operating a hit squad. He accused our reporter of having issues with his appointment and asked him to take it elsewhere. Mugambe had called a press conference to deny claims by 16 Rwandan students against government for allegedly attempting to conscript them in M23 rebel ranks.

The ambassador dismissed the claims by students as funny adding that, Asylum seeker tell all sort of lies to gain refugee status. He said they are working with the Ugandan government to see that the students are returned back home to resume their studies. The students have since been taken to a camp in West Nile region.

1 thought on “Gen. Mugambage Denies Reports of Hit Squad Targeting Refugees

  1. But a person of the level of high commissioiner should know that under international refugee law, a person who seeks assylum in another country claiming to flee persecution cannot be returned to the same country he is fleeing from until a time when its established that the fear of persecution is not there. The Uganda govt too should be aware that they are supposed to provide the full protection to anybvody in their borders who is claiming assylum. if they cant guarantee this security they can request/beg for another state to provide this protection and move them over to another state.

    Infact i dont see any part for the Rwandese high commision to play in their assylum application apart from a public relations role for their govt that can only be played in the media.

    The high commisioner s angry reaction alone would suggest these young men are not going to be free to return to their country without the fear of retribution regardelss of whether they had a genuine case for fleeing.

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