Gen Otafiire: ‘Maybe Rwanda Fears Some People will Escape’
Uganda’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Rtd. Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire has said his government is not holding Rwandans in detention.
“Let the Rwandese Ambassador bring the issue to me then we shall handle it. As far as I am concerned, I know no Rwandese who are detained,” said Otafiire.
His remarks follow Rwanda Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera’s claims today that Rwandans were being subjected to harassment and detention by Ugandan authorities.
He spoke to Chimpreports on the sidelines of the launch of the Report On Rule Of Law, Access to Justice and Security Needs in Refugee Settlements and Communities in Arua and Isingiro Districts at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday.
“Gen Frank Mugambage, the Rwandan Ambassador knows me. Let him come to me, bring me the real list then we shall use the government protocols to find out why these people are detained and why they are being tried, if they are there at all,” said Otafiire.
“If there are any Rwandese in jail or in custody, whom charges have not been preferred against, let Gen. Mugambage bring the list to me or through Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he added.
Sezibera today told the media in Kigali that
over 900 Rwandans have been deported from Uganda. He did not mention names.
“Much as deporting is Uganda’s sovereign right, we have an issue with due process. You don’t blindfold people, torture them along the way and dump them at the border. That is not how deportations take place as we know,” said Sezibera.
Rwanda recently closed Gatuna border post to dozens of trucks from Uganda which were carrying mixed goods including fuel and perishables.
The Kigali government said it needed to expedite construction works on the One Stop Border Post on its side hence the decision to keep away trucks.
The development triggered a backlash from Ugandans who wondered why Kigali never communicated early enough about the construction works.
Speaking to ChimpReports, Otafiire said Rwanda’s decision is “baffling.”
“What is baffling is that Rwanda allows other nationals to go into Rwanda and get out. What they don’t allow is their nationals to leave, that is what I have heard. I don’t know why. Maybe they are investigating certain things within Rwanda and they don’t want them to escape. I don’t know what the problem is,” Otafiire explained.
However, he added that Rwanda is a sovereign country that reserves the right to make decisions that suit their interests.