Tension: Uganda beefs up security on its borders with Rwanda

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Uganda beefs up Security on its borders with Rwanda.

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Uganda has beefed up it’s security along its border with Rwanda to reportedly prevent the increasing cases of illegal immigrants and smuggling of livestock by Rwandan nationals.

On February 27, 2019, Rwanda closed its borders to Uganda with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda telling 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 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.

Despite the travel advisory, Rwandan nationals have continued crossing into Uganda. Following the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, Uganda further raised restrictions against Rwanda nationals illegally crossing into Uganda.

In recent weeks, Rwandan nationals introduced another venture of smuggling cattle to Uganda, which has raised concerns among security circles. The cattle are mostly smuggled into Uganda from the neighbouring districts of Gicumbi and Burera in the Northern Province of Rwanda.

Godfrey Nyakahuma, the Kabale resident district commissioner, says that security authorities have resumed full-time deployment of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and police along the border because of the increased illegal entry by Rwandan nationals into Uganda with smuggled cattle.

Without revealing the number of cases registered, Nyakahuma says that as security, they have realized that the smuggled cattle expose Uganda to a very big risk of transmitting livestock diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease from Rwanda to Uganda since the animals are not inspected.

Nyakahuma also says that security has embarked on community policing to make sure that Ugandan locals stop selling waragi to Rwandan nationals as a way of reducing contact and making them lose morale to cross into Uganda.

Henry Kisembo, the Kigezi Region police field force unit (FFU) commander, says that Rwandan nationals connive with Ugandan cattle traders and Kabale district veterinary authorities to stealthily clear the cattle before they are sold in Kabale for slaughter and transportation to other districts.

Reuben Mutabazi, the Kabale district internal security officer, says that the illegal entry entrance of Rwandan nationals has led to the increase of Covid-19 cases in the sub-counties near the border due to contact between Ugandans with Rwandans.

Moses Enyo, the officer in charge of Katuna border police station, says that most illegal entrants are hidden by Ugandan traders by locking them inside their houses as they transact business. He cites an example of Katuna town council

Early this month, Maj Gen Francis Takirwa, the UPDF Second Division commander told our reporter that on a daily basis more than 20 illegal entrants are intercepted by security and deported from Mirama hills in Ntungamo district up to Ishasha in Kanungu district.

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