KAMPALA/KIGALI – The five Ugandans who were deported from Rwanda on Tuesday have said they were subjected to daily beatings on top of starvation them while in detention.
Rwanda Commissioner of Migration and Emigration Francois Regis Gatarayiha on Tuesday announced that Gilbert Beingana, Amos Tibesigwa and Nicholas Tumwesigye, all residents of Kabale district and Ivan Nirinyiyimana and Beatha Nyiramuco, both from Kisoro district, were not wanted in the country and had been deported.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday afternoon, Tibesigwa said on November 11, he crossed on Rwanda to visit his relatives but was intercepted by Rwanda security operatives who started kicking and beating him up as they tasked him to explain why he had entered the country. Tibesigwa said he was then taken to Kivuye in Burera district and locked up.
He said during the seven days in detention, he was subjected to daily beatings as they kept asking him what he wanted in Rwanda on top of feeding on only two meals of cooked maize seeds throughout the seven days.
“My ribs are aching from the daily beatings. I want to go for treatment. They may be broken,” he said.
Beingana, another victim, said: “I have never experienced suffering like what he was subjected to in custody in Rwanda. The security operatives would beat us whenever they felt like,” he added.
Tumwesigye said they were saved from death when his brother, Gideon Turyatunga, raised the matter to Ugandan security officials and his stepfather, a top Police officer in Rwanda National Police begged for their release.
The incident comes 10 days after two Uganda businessmen; Job Ebyarishaga and Bosco Tuhirwe were killed inside Rwanda and the Kigali administration said they were smuggling tobacco into its territory.
The Uganda government wrote a protest letter this week against the killing of its people and asked for a joint investigation into the said murders and that the perpetrators are held accountable.
Relations between the two countries have been deteriorating since the beginning of 2018 after Rwanda claimed its citizens were being persecuted by Uganda.
Over the past one year, Uganda has arrested several Rwandans, accusing them of security-related offences including the possession of guns.
In February, Rwanda announced that it would be closing its border with Uganda, which affected movement of goods and people through both countries.