Ugandan teachers arrested in Rwanda

Two Ugandan teachers have been arrested in Rwanda. 

Gloria Ayebare and Annet Kabanyena both residents of Kibumba village in Rwingwe parish, in Kisoro district are teachers at Maranatha Nursery and Primary School in Rubavu, north-western Rwanda’s Rubavu district.

According to Kabanyaena’s close relative who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity Ayebare and Kabanyena informed them on Monday that they have been given a short holiday and they were travelling to Uganda for a visit. 

He however said that family members waited for them to arrive at home in Kisoro on Tuesday in vain. According to the source, on Thursday, they were tipped by the victim’s friends in Rwanda that they were arrested and taken to an unknown destination. 

He said  that the victims’ friends revealed that Ayebare and Kabanyena were arrested while crossing the border into Uganda.

Francis Ndagize, the father of Ayebare says that after hearing of the victims’ arrest, they have rushed to the Ugandan Immigration office at Chanika border for help. Ndagize says that officials from the Uganda Immigration office have helped them to connect with their Rwandan counterparts.

He says that Rwandan Immigration officials asked the family members to wait as they check in Rwandan prisons. 

Ndagize said that as family members they are worried that the victims might be killed or tortured.

Captain Peter Mugisha, Kisoro District Resident District Commissioner said that security in the district is aware of the victims’ arrest.  Mugisha says that the victims have been teaching in Rwanda for the last seven years.

According to Mugisha, they have already contacted Rwandan authorities and were promised that the matter will be handled. 

This is not the first time Ugandan teachers are arrested in Rwanda. In June this year, Alex Balikitenda from Kalilo district, Samuel Nalumenya  Ablul Ssenono Mutwarib from Wakiso district, and Jethro Naturinda from Kabale district were arrested in March and April this year respectively and sent to Rwenzamenyo- Nyamirambo detention centre until June when they were deported through Katuna Border in Kabale district.

The impasse between Rwanda and Uganda started on February 27, 2019, when Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda. Rwandan President, Paul Kagame issued a travel advisory to his nationals against travelling to Uganda, saying their safety is not guaranteed.

Kagame accused Ugandan authorities of abducting Rwandan citizens and locking them up in non-designated areas. Kagame also accused Uganda of hosting and facilitating dissidents especially from Rwanda National Congress-RNC and the Democratic Forces for the liberation of Rwanda FDLR, which have declared war on the Kigali government. Uganda has denied the accusations.


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