November 27, 2019

Uganda Dumps 33 Rwandans At Cyanika Border

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Rwandans brought by Ugandan security personnel and dumped at Cyanika border this Wednesday evening

A total of 33 Rwandan were this Wednesday evening brought in lorries and dumped at Cyanika border, in Burera district, which neighbors Kisoro district of Uganda.

Northern Province Governor Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi, who rushed to the border to receive them, said the deportees were ferried from prison in Kisoro town. It is hours and hours drive apart from Cyanika border.

“….after confiscating all their belongings and separating them from loved ones, they were packed in lorries and dumped at border,” said Gatabazi on Twitter, with photos.

Since the past weekend, there are conflicting reports as to what is happening to Rwandans in Kisoro district. First, Uganda media reported that there were Rwandans who had crossed into Uganda fleeing. Pictures shared showed groups of mostly men seated amid heavy military guard.

On Monday, media in Rwanda reported that over 150 people of alleged Rwandan origin had been arrested in Kisoro district where they had been living for years. The evening that day, Governor Gatabazi said he was at Cyanika border receiving Rwandans who were escaping persecution on Ugandan side.

“….I was in Cyanika and met those who escaped and others deported, very hard to understand their pain and how they managed to survive from armed soldiers and long distances in [Uganda], some of them separated with their children and husbands,” said Gatabazi on Monday night, accompanied by photos he had taken at border of arrivals.

On Monday night at Cyanika border, Northern Province Governor Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi speaks to desperate Rwandans who had crossed from Uganda side

Then on Tuesday, other Ugandan media also reported that 32 Rwandans and Congolese had been detained and would be deported.

Amid differing versions of information about what is happening to Rwandans in Uganda, it is increasingly becoming difficult to separate facts from government propaganda.

Both Rwandan and Ugandan governments have agreed, as par the Angola MoU between President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, that “negative propaganda” is one of the key issues that need settling.

But three months later, what each country has done is block all online media from the other.

Since February when the current fallout started, dozens and dozens of Rwandans have been deported. In one of the major incidents, up to 40 pastors of the Pentecostal Church of Rwanda or ADEPR, which had been operating in Uganda for over a decade, were deported.

Less than 5 Ugandans have been deported from Rwanda.

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