August 13, 2013

Expelled Rwandan Nationals Flock Into Uganda

At least 1500 Rwandan nationals expelled from Tanzania for illegal entry into the country have started flocking into Uganda.

Early this month, Tanzania expelled tens of thousands of illegal Rwandan immigrants.

Jakaya Kikwete, the President of Tanzania accused the Rwandans of illegally crossing into his country with their animals and settling in Kagera region and Misenyi district bordering Uganda.

Over the weakened, the Tanzanian government repatriated dozens of Rwandan immigrants. However, some of the Rwandan immigrants who have been staying in Misenyi have instead fled into Ugandathrough Mutukula and Minziiro border points in Kakuuto Sub County in Rakai district.

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete accused the Rwandans of illegally crossing into his country with their animals and settling in Kagera region and Misenyi
Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete accused the Rwandans of illegally crossing into his country with their animals and settling in Kagera region and Misenyi.

Benon Mugabi, the Rakai LC5 Chairperson says the district has since last week registered 1500 Rwandan nationals majority of them children. He says the foreigners have entered with over 40,000 heads of cattle and have settled in Sango Bay, Mutukula, Minziro, Kanobera, Kozza villages and other areas in Kauuto and Kibanda Sub County.

Mugabi says they are worried about the influx of the Rwandan nationals mostly pastoralists saying this could spark off land disputes with Ugandan pastoralists. Godfrey Matte, the Officer of Mutukula Police Station has confirmed the influx of the Rwandan nationals. He says they have registered 400 immigrants over the last three days and expects the number to grow. Matte appeals to Ministry of Agriculture to intervene and vaccinate the animals brought in by the Rwandans to avoid any disease outbreak.

Some of the immigrants interviewed say they are now struggling to find accommodation in Mutukula. They include Scovia Kambaine, Peter Kanshozi, Mable Baingana and Fred Kairanga. They told local media that they decided to run to Uganda for fear of being persecuted in Rwanda. Cynthia Kamatenesi, one of Rwandan immigrant says they have been staying in Tanzania since the 1994 genocide. She explains that most of her relatives were killed in the genocide and fears going back to her country, saying she would be killed too.

Kamatenesi says she prefers staying in Uganda, because it is secure for her.

Fred Kairanga says he is not ready to go back to Rwandan. Kairanga claims that his life is not safe if goes back to Rwanda. He says he was disappointed that the Tanzania government expelled them without giving them ample time to prepare their exit. Kairanga claims that he left several heads of cattle in Tanzania after police raided his home and ordered them to return to Rwanda.

Rakai District leaders and Immigration officials are expected to meet the Rwandan immigrants this week to chat a way forward.

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