A total of 181 Rwandan nationals studying from Kampala University in Uganda, are the latest individuals to feel the heat of the current impasse at the Rwanda – Uganda border, now that they won’t be able to cross to Uganda, for their graduation ceremony on Thursday.
Authorities in Rwanda blocked their nationals from crossing to Uganda since Wednesday last week, on grounds of their security. The travel ban affected hundreds of students who daily cross into Uganda to attend school.
Rwanda government claims that they banned their nationals from travel to Uganda for their (Rwandan citizens) own security. It follows growing concern by the government of Rwanda over allegations that Uganda continues to arrest, deport and torture Rwandans and denying them access to consular services.
However, number of Rwandans were a day later seen desperately trying to cross into Uganda through small border paths and water bodies. It took the Kigali security to enforce the travel ban.
Now, according to Kampala University spokesperson, Julius Ssekatawa, an alternative function will be organized for students to graduate from the University’s extension in Nyagatare, Rwanda.
“There is nothing we can do about the standoff at our border posts but we have been able to send them their gowns and since the function is going to be live on Television, they will gather at the East African University, Rwanda, where they will watch from as their names are being read,” Ssekatawa told SoftPower News.
“Their names will be read from here as they celebrate from Rwanda,” he said.
He says the students successfully completed studies and their University dues, saying their absence due to the existing circumstances, has no effect on their graduation.
“If the University senate passes your name as one that qualifies to appear in the graduation booklet, even if you don’t attend on the graduation day, your attendance matters less,” he said.
The function will take place at the University’s main branch in Ggaba tomorrow, Thursday March 7 and will be presided over by the Nabagereka of Buganda kingdom, Sylvia Nagginda.
This is Kampala University’s 16th graduation ceremony and a total of 3,355 students, out of whom 181 are Rwandans, will graduate in different disciplines with degrees, Diplomas and Certificates.