Police have been deployed heavily on the Uganda-Tanzania border posts to prevent Rwandans expelled from Tanzania from entering Uganda.
Last month, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania ordered for the expulsion of at least 20, 000 Rwandans who have been living in the country.
Kikwete accused the Rwandans of illegal entry and settlement into the country with their animals which caused land wrangles. Kikwete therefore ordered security forces to repatriate them to Rwanda because their stay into Tanzania had denied Tanzanians social services.
As a result, the first Rwandans to heed the presidential order started crossing over into Uganda.
According to police, at least 1200 Rwandan immigrants were registered after crossing into Uganda following their expulsion from Tanzania.
Godfrey Maate, the Officer in Charge of Mutukula police station, said that although they had managed to register 1, 200, it was suspected many more had entered the country.
Last week, Grace Turyagumanaawe, the Director of Operations Uganda Police Force ordered for relocation of 800 immigrants to Lukoma village on the old Sango Bay Air Strip Land located in Kakuuto Sub County for temporally settlement.
According to Steven Ssebunya, the Kakuuto Sub County LC3 Chairman, although 800 were relocated to Sango Bay Air Strip land, there are several others who are renting houses in Kabonera, Mutukula, Kyappa, Mayanja trading centre and Sanje trading centers.
But now police has been deployed along Minziiro, Mutukula, Isingiro, and Kasensero landing site and Kyebe border posts to prevent more Rwandans leaving Tanzania gaining entry into Uganda.
Noah Sserunjoji, the Greater Masaka Region Police Spokesperson, says the decision to halt entry was taken after several criminal elements started infilitrating the Rwandan groups entering the country.
Sserunjoji says police is only letting in Rwandans with documents that prove they are refugees.
Francis Gakumba, the leader of Rwandan Immigrants says only a few of their colleagues have been able to cross into Uganda ever since police deployed on Tuesday. He says Tanzania has also deployed police to stop them from entering Uganda.
He also says Tanzania is stopping them from crossing into Uganda with their animals.
Instead, according to Gakumba, Rwandan immigrants are forced back to their country Rwanda. According to Gakumba, there are still many Rwandan immigrants stranded in Tanzania despite repatriation of tens of thousands back to Rwanda.
Benon Mugabi, the Rakai District LC5 Chairman had welcomed the restriction of more immigrants into Uganda. He says those who were able to cross into Uganda have stretched the district’s resources to breaking point.
Mugabi says that the Rwandan immigrants are competeting with Ugandans for water, medical services and grass for animals in the district which is stoking tensions.
Mugabi requests the Office of the Prime Minister to relocate those settled in Kakuuto to Kiryandongo.
Early this month, two unknown Rwandan immigrants reportedly drowned into River Kagera.