RUBANDA – Police in Rubanda District have arrested 22 Rwandan and Congolese nationals over illegal entry into Uganda.
Kigezi Region Police Commander Richard Ecega said the suspects were on intercepted on Wednesday by security officials while travelling in a Bismarkan Bus.
He added that they netted 70 illegal entrants but some of them later run away,
According to Mr Ecega, the group was heading to Kagadi and Kabarole districts to work in tea plantations but none of them had any travel documents.
In recent months, government security agencies have arrested and deported many Rwandese nationals over illegal entry.
On July 3, security operatives in the district intercepted two buses from Rwanda and arrested 72 Rwandan nationals before deporting them back to their country over lack of travel documents.
The Rwandese, who included 11 children, 20 women and 41 men, were intercepted at Muhanga Town Council in an operation led by the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner, Mr Emmy Ngabirano.
They were then ordered to present documents to show that they qualify to be in Uganda.
However, 72 had no travel documents and were escorted to Katuna border and ordered to return to their country. Some of those arrested told the security officials that they were coming to for causal jobs in different districts of western Uganda.
In May, a court in Kabale District sentenced eight Rwandan nationals to 13 months in prison or a fine of Shs300,000 each after it found them guilty of entering Uganda illegally.
Prosecution led by Ms Gloria Inzikuru told Kabale Chief Magistrates Court presided over by Mr Julius Borore that on April 28, the accused entered Uganda through Katuna Border without travel documents, thus contravening the Uganda’s citizenship and immigration control laws.
They all pleaded guilty to the offence but asked court to allow them to go back to their country, arguing that they entered Uganda to look for survival.
This comes on the backdrop of strained relations between Uganda and Rwanda prompted by accusations from Kigali that its citizens were being kidnapped, detained and prosecuted by Kampala security officials.
During Rwanda’s 24th liberation celebrations held at his residence in Kololo early this month, the Rwandan High Commissioner to Uganda, Maj Gen (Rtd) Frank Mugambage, has said the Uganda government has continued to effect “multiple unjustified arrests” of Rwanda citizens.
Maj Gen Mugambage also claimed that the Kampala government has failed to investigate terror groups working within Uganda with plans to attack Rwanda.
“The cases we have put before the (Uganda authorities) of Rwandans that have been arrested and when families come to us that our people have been arrested, we do not know where they are and their cases. It is important that we resolve this. Even cases of terrorists elements I have mentioned it to them so it’s important that we follow up,” he said.