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Rwandan Pregnant Woman Collapses, Dies At Cyanika While Escaping To Uganda

A Rwandan woman has collapsed and died as she tried to escape through a panya (illegal pathway) to Uganda to buy foodstuffs.

Rwanda recently issued a travel advice warning Rwandans against traveling to Uganda, saying they faced arrest and persecution.

While Uganda denied claims of harassing Rwandans, Kigali responded by ordering security forces to enforce the travel ban.

Rwandan Immigration officials responded by blocking all Rwandan from crossing to Uganda.

However, on Wednesday afternoon, Cyanika border town came to a standstill after a Rwandan woman died as she struggled to enter Uganda.

It is alleged Elizabeth Mukarugwiza, who was pregnant, was being chased by unknown people.

She reportedly fell on the ground before passing on a few minutes later.

Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) publicist, Irene Nakasita told ChimpReports on Wednesday that Police at Cyanika border “alerted our volunteers to help in saving her life.”

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She added: “The lady was crossing into Uganda using a panya which is near the border point. By the time volunteers reached her, she had already slipped into coma.”

Nakasita said a Red Cross ambulance was quickly dispatched to the point where the woman had collapsed from only to discover that she had passed on.

The Red Cross is currently handing over the body to security for further management.

Nakasita said Uganda Red Cross Society has volunteers at all border points to screen all immigrants for the Ebola virus.

Officials said the deceased wanted to buy foodstuffs and medicine from Uganda.

As soon as the travel ban was announced by Rwandan authorities, dozens of Rwandans were caught on camera crossing into Uganda in search of food.

Rwanda, a hill country, relies heavily on Uganda’s food exports.

United Nations’ COMTRADE database shows that in 2017 Uganda exports to Rwanda was $182 million, against imports of about $16 million.

Major Ugandan products to Rwanda are cerealsceramics, raw hides and skins, edible vegetables, roots and tubers, machinery, coffee, tea, iron and steel, essential oils, cosmetics and milk.

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