Uganda Police have commenced investigations into circumstances under which 40 Rwandans obtained and used what the law enforcement body describes as “fake” identification particulars to travel to Tanzania, Chimp Corps report.
The development comes against the backdrop of cold relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
Sections of Rwandan media recently reported the group was traveling for Rwanda National Congress (RNC) military training camps in Eastern DRC via Burundi.
But in a statement issued on Wednesday night, RNC spokesperson Jean Paul Turayishimye described the reports as “contradictory” and a “smear campaign against RNC that is being spread through Government owned newspapers, suggesting that Uganda is helping RNC to recruit refugees to join a rebel group intended to oust the government of Rwanda.”
He added: “One may ask how, in one week, the same government that is assisting the organization, Rwanda National Congress creating an army to fight Rwanda government, will arrest people from the same organization for doing exactly what the government of Uganda wants them to do. The story seems to suggest that, Ugandan government and Ugandan Police are two different entities, which work against each other.”
Police breaks silence
In an extensive statement, Police spokesperson Emillian told this investigative website that the law enforcement body is interrogating the arrested Rwandans to establish their motive.
“The information we have is that a group of over 40 people were travelling in a Ugandan bus allegedly going to Burundi for a Christian fellowship,” said Kayima.
“They allegedly carried with them suspected fake travel documents. They were intercepted on this note,” he added.
This news website understands the bus carrying Rwandans had crossed into Tanzania before its occupants being returned to Uganda for questioning.
Earlier, immigration officials had expressed suspicion about the trip, leading to frantic telephone calls to senior security officials in the region.
“They were brought to the region (Uganda) for questioning to establish facts and falsehoods,” said Kayima.
He further warned that, “if they will be found capable for any offences, they will be brought to book accordingly.”
Uganda’s ties with Rwanda have in the recent past been weakened by accusations of espionage, alleged harassment of Rwandan refugees in Uganda and failure to implement agreed joint infrastructural projects among others.
But both countries are understood to have initiated official and unofficial means of resolving their disputes amicably.
In a recent statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reassured that “bilateral ties between Uganda and Rwanda remain solid and Rwanda remains a strategic partner to Uganda in both our visions for integration and for peace and security in the region.”
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Amb Patrick Mugoya, underlined: “It should be clearly emphasized that there are agreed avenues, procedures and mechanisms through which any discontentment or misunderstandings between both our countries may be raised as well as addressed. The media is not one of them.”
The arrested Rwandans were detained at Isingiro Police Station pending investigations.
“This happened early this week and the process (investigations – ED) kicked off immediately,” said Kayima.
“At the appropriate time, we shall tell the world about it all.”