East Africa

Minister Akol decries increasing number of Rwandese illegal immigrants


Ms Rose Akol Okullu, the internal affairs minister has decried the increasing number of Rwandese immigrants whom she accused of acquiring Uganda National IDs illegally.

According to the minister who is also Bukedea District woman representative, most Rwandese do not know the implications of possessing two identity cards and called for their sensitization.

She said this while inspecting the readiness of Mirama-Kagitumba one stop border post at Uganda-Rwanda border in Ntungamo district on Sunday. It will be commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame of Rwanda on April 23.

Akol said further noted that on a daily basis, authorities at the border post collect at least 10 Ugandan National Identity Cards from Rwandan nationals and about 300 in month.

“There is still a big number of Rwanda nationals possessing our national IDs; the high number of illegal immigrants has increased pressure on the economy,” said Ms Akol.

During elections, Go Forward presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi, accused President Yoweri Museveni of ferrying Rwandans and Burundians to Uganda to vote for him in the February 18 elections.

Mbabazi then said each of the illegal immigrants had been given a Ugandan National ID to enable them participate in the February 18elections which saw president Museveni declared winner.

In the last decade, civil wars in the neighbouring Rwanda and DR Congo have led to a steady stream of refugees in Uganda.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees has settled hundreds at Rwamwanja, Kyangwali and at Kyaka in Kamwenge, Hoima and Kyegegwa districts, respectively.
Lately, hundreds of refugees especially from Burundi have flocked into Uganda and have easily mingled with Ugandans and settled anywhere they find hospitable.

The country has weak systems that have failed to stem illegal migration, coupled with the refugee settlements around the country, where refugees mingle easily with the nationals.

Over the years, they have come to own property and some are Local Council leaders who at times abet illegal settlement in Uganda’s forest reserves.
Uganda has porous borders that foreigners find it easy to cross and settle in Uganda unlike in any other country in the Great Lakes region.

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