39 Rwandans netted in Kisoro swoop, remanded over illegal entry

Thirty nine people including 35 Rwandan nationals and four Congolese nationals have appeared before Kisoro magistrate’s court for illegal entry into Uganda.

The suspects were netted in a joint security operation involving the army and Police in Kisoro Municipality in the areas of Russia, MuLine and Karumena in the wee hours of Monday morning.  More than 200 people were picked up.

The suspects didn’t have any identification documents but after being screened by security personnel, most of them were released except 39 who remained in detention at Kisoro police station.

These were on Tuesday afternoon arraigned before Kisoro Grade One Magistrate, Raphael Vueni under tight security where they were charged with illegal entry.

Three Rwandan nationals and one Congolese pleaded not guilty to the charges while the rest of suspects pleaded guilty to the charges and asked for forgiveness.

Vueni remanded the three Rwandan nationals and Congolese to Kisoro Government Prison until December 18, 2019.

He also remanded the remaining suspects to prison until tomorrow when they will appear for judgment. Security operatives stopped our reporter from recording the identities of the suspects.

The New Times Rwandan government owned newspaper, claimed the operation was targeting Rwandans.

According to The New Times, the suspects were gathered in one place, screened and then “bundled onto garbage trucks” which drove them to Kisoro police station.

The newspaper further claimed that some of those arrested were found to be Congolese or Tanzanian nationals and were subsequently set free.

Both Elly Maate, Kigezi region Police Spokesman and Eddie Sserunjojji, the Kigezi Regional Police Commander declined to comment on the matter.

Captain Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, says the operation is aimed at reducing rampant cases of murder, rape, robbery and theft among others in Kisoro district.

According to Mugisha, residents had resorted to mob justice while accusing security of not helping them to identify suspected criminals.