Police in Kabale working with immigration authorities at Katuna, the border of Uganda and Rwanda have arrested 46 people said to be Rwandan nationals for alleged illegal entry and stay in Uganda.
According to Elly Matte, the Kigezi Regional Police Spokesperson, the suspects were intercepted on Monday evening while they were aboard buses that had already made way into Uganda.
The buses which they used, belonging to Kalita and Horizon companies were stopped along the Kabale Mbarara highway.
“They hailed from Rwanda to Uganda through porous entry points of Rubaya, Bigaga, Kamwezi and Bufundi. They claimed they were heading to Bunyoro and Kijura tea plantation farms in Kabarole district for labour,” Elly Matte said in a statement.
The operation was intelligence led and in total, 82 people were arrested initially. However, after screening, 36 people including women and children were taken by immigration officers to process their deportation back to Rwanda.
The remaining 46 people are due to be produced in court to answer to offences relating to illegal entry into the country, once investigations are over. Of these 38 are male while 9 are female. Matte could not state for certain when these are likely to be produced in court, saying it could be anytime.
“The 46 will appear before courts of law. These people ought to pass through gazeted border points with relevant documents to access where they are from, where they are specifically going and for which purpose,” Matte added in the statement.
Asked why the 48 were deported, Matte said the group included breastfeeding mothers and their children who were considered vulnerable upon screening.
“There were kids. These are breastfeeding mothers and their young kids. These are vulnerable people and we said they can be deported back,” he said.