Uganda Deports 32 Rwandans Involved in Espionage to Undermine National Security

Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame touring the Uganda-Rwanda border previously.

The Ugandan government has deported 32 Rwandan nationals considered to have been been engaged in espionage and entered the country illegally to undermine Uganda’s national security.

The deportation is contained in a letter, a copy of which SoftPower News has seen authored by Bwesigye Marcellino, the Acting Commissioner Legal and Inspection Services in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The notice is addressed to the Commissioner, Immigration Control and copied to other relevant officers in immigration.

“The above mentioned persons are Rwandan nationals referred from CMI to affect their removal for illegal entry and illegal stay,” Marcellino writes.

He adds that the subjects are prohibited immigrants who should be deported back to their country. He attached a list of the said deportees.

“This is therefore to forward them to you with the request that you ensure their removal to their home country Rwanda and ensure their details are captured in the PISCES system”.

“The operation to clean Uganda of inflitration will continue. More spies who are deployed under cover to compromise our security are yet to deported,” a credible security source told SoftPower News.

A recent peak in frosty relations between Uganda and Rwanda saw the Kampala administration complain about the repeated illegal entry of elements from Directorate of the Military Intelligence (DMI) of Rwanda into Uganda with intentions to destabilize the country.

On its part, Rwanda has repeatedly accused Uganda of illegally arresting its nationals and deporting them. Rwanda also claims Uganda is home to many Rwandans who run away from Rwanda with hostile intentions towards the Rwandan government, but Uganda denies the claim. Ugandan authorities say it is the country’s pan-African stand to welcome all refugees from all countries and that the country harbours no intentions against Rwanda.

The Ugandan government has maintained that it will not allow its territory to be used to threaten the security of a neighboring country.

In a March 10 correspondence by President Museveni to President Kagame, he said; “What is wrong is for Rwanda agents to try to operate behind the government of Uganda.”

Uganda’s Foreign Minister has previously stated that as Rwandans are welcome to visit Uganda, they are required to abide by the laws of the land.

Anyone who breaks the law will be dealt with in accordance with the law, the Minister said.

Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister in a brief to the diplomatic corps this year while responding to allegations raised by Rwanda, said that in as much as Rwandans are welcome to visit Uganda, they are required to abide by the laws of the land. Anyone who breaks the law will be dealt with in accordance with the law, the Minister said.

He said a number of Rwandan security operatives have been entering Uganda without following laid down procedures that govern the entry of security personnel into the country. In such cases, he said, a number of those apprehended have been deported back to Rwanda.

In March this year, court in Kampala released on bail a Rwandan national, Moses Ishimwe Rutare who is charged with illegal entry and stay in Uganda.

It is reported that the accused was arrested by security operatives in December, 2018 on allegations of lingering near a Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) installation.

This year, three Senior Managers in MTN Ugada including Annie Bilenge Tabura, a Rwandan national who was working as the General Manager for Sales and Distribution were deported by the government of Uganda for allegedly engaging in activities that compromised Uganda’s national security.

“Security agencies in close coordination with immigration officials have been investigating two foreign nationals working with a leading mobile telecom company over their engagement in acts which compromise national security,” Police said in a statement.

Without divulging details of the said subversive activities, Police said the deportation of the two persons “has enabled us disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security”.

SoftPower News later learnt from a credible source that Annie’s involvement was connected with a sustained campaign by one of Uganda’s neighboring countries to undermine both the security and establishment in Uganda.

The source revealed that in MTN Uganda, Annie has been acting as a conduit to facilitate and finance the hostile activities, with direct orders from the Kigali administration.

She was accused of using her position to establish a wide and discreet network of Mobile Money channels through which subversive (mostly criminal) operations would be financed. The scattered network was intended to make the detection of such transactions difficult to detect.

The mobile money network, the source said, was strategically positioned in areas of interest to Rwanda – refugee settlements where Rwandan refugees are situated to aid their kidnapping back to Rwanda, as well as urban areas. In the urban areas like Kampala for example, the motive was to execute sponsored criminality including assassinations of high profile politicians and security officers with an aim of causing anarchy which would in turn undermine tourism and investment in Uganda.

Another Rwandan, Rene Rutagungira, is currently facing Uganda’s court martial for kidnapping Rwandan refugees in Uganda and illegally repatriating them to Rwanda.

Months ago, Ugandan security operative bust a Rwandan intelligence cell in Katwe near the Ugandan capital Kampala that was being run by Rwanda’s Directorate of Military Intelligence under the guise of a church named ADEPR.

Human rights advocates have frequently accused the Rwandan government of sending agents overseas to take refugees out of action and silence critics.

This week, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said that the security of refugees in Uganda is a responsibility of the government of Uganda.

Read More: .UNHCR Says Security in Refugee Settlements Insufficient, Apportions Role to Govt

There are several reports of high-profile deaths of Rwandans overseas.

South Africa last week issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans accused of assassinating a high -profile Rwandan, Patrick Karegyeya, in Johannesburg.

It is not clear whether Rwandan authorities will handover the Rwandans to South Africa for prosecution.

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