Uganda deports 32 Rwandan nationals

Ugandan authorities have deported 32 Rwandan nationals and three others who are said to be citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo after they pleaded guilty to charges of illegal entry into Uganda.

The deportees were arrested on Monday night in a joint security operation conducted in Russia, MuLine and Karumena villages in Kisoro Municipality in the south western border district of Kisoro.

The deportees are the 35 suspects that on Tuesday pleaded guilty to charges of illegal entry before the Kisoro Grade One Magistrate, Raphael Vueni following a security operation that netted more than 200 people.

Their deportation followed their production before Vueni on Wednesday who ordered the Ugandan security and immigration officials to deport them to their respective countries saying that they should have followed proper procedures, to stay in Uganda.

Shortly after the decision, the 35 were whisked away to Chanika and Bunagana border posts, where their deportation documents were processed.

Four others who denied the charges remain remanded at Kisoro prison till December 18.

The deportation came within a week after Rwanda deported some five Ugandans who had illegally crossed into Rwanda.

Captain Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner says that 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 agencies of failing to identify suspected criminals.

Uganda and Rwanda have been at loggerheads since the beginning of this year when the Kigali administration closed the one-stop border post at Gatuna and advised trucks from Uganda to only enter Rwanda through the Kagitumba-Mirama Hills post in Ntungamo district.

But days after the closure, Rwandan officials accused Uganda of illegally detaining Rwandans. They also advised their nationals against entering into Uganda on grounds that their safety could not be guaranteed. Efforts to end the standoff have so far yielded no positive results.