Seven Rwandans arrested in Uganda repatriated

On 7 February 2019 at 05:52

Four Rwandan women, two children and one man who had been detained at Kisoro Police Station in Uganda were handed to Rwandan Immigration Officers at Cyanika, Northern Province on Thursday. They say they had been arrested for not owning official traveling and residential documents which they deny.

Jean Paul Muhirwa, a father to one child, had been working in business for six years. He was brought back to Rwanda after six days in Kisoro Prison.

“I was arrested on my way back to Rwanda where I had come to renew my official immigration documents which had expired. They told me that they would bring me to court but when I explained to them that I had been living in Uganda and married a Ugandan woman, I was released with the other Rwandans,” Muhirwa said.

Florence Yankurije, one of the four women who were arrested on February 5 in Uganda says she had been living in Uganda for five years married to a Ugandan husband with whom they had two children.

"I was stopped while I was coming back from Rwanda where I had come to visit my family. I had passed at the border with no problem but they arrested me while in Uganda explained Florence accusing me of staying in Uganda illegally,” she said.

Assouma Namahoro, and Annonciata Nyiramahirwe say they had been given temporary residential documents but they were arrested, spent nights in detention and were given even no water to drink.

Nyiramahirwe says she was taken out the car that was taking her to Kampala.
“On our way to Kampala, all the buses were stopped and searched at a place called Nyakabande and some people were taken out and brought to prison. I was released after presenting my cross border legal papers, but I have now lost the Rwf7500 amount that I had paid for transport fare,” she said.

Nyiramahirwe said some other Rwandans stayed in detention and for their release, they are usually asked a Sh2 million bribe (about Rwf500,000).

Since 2017, arrests of Rwandans travelling to Uganda have become rampant, with some raising concerns of illegal detention and abduction.

Jean Paul Muhirwa was sent back to Rwanda despite having had been living in Uganda for the last six years
Assouma Namahoro was detained in Uganda though she says she had a temporary residence permit document