Uganda releases 15 more Rwandans

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The Rwandan government Wednesday welcomed Tuesday’s release of 15 more Rwandan nationals who were incarcerated in Uganda.

Those handed over who arrived in Rwanda early Wednesday included two Rwandans who were allegedly involved in a deadly attack in Kinigi sector in northern province’s Musanze district in which 14 people were killed.

“The government of Rwanda welcomes the release of 13 Rwandan nationals and the deportation of 2 terrorist suspects who were involved in the October 2019 Kinigi attacks,” a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.

The group was handed over to Rwandan migration officials at Rwanda-Uganda border at Kagitumba by Uganda’s migration officials led by Marcellino Mwesigye.

“I’m happy to be back home; I was feeling traumatized because of what I went through in custody but my hope is restored,” Narcisse Ukwigize, one of the returnees told reporters upon arrival in Rwanda.

The statement said Rwanda has also terminated the prosecution of 17 Ugandan citizens and released three who have completed their sentences.

Uganda on Jan. 8 had released nine Rwandan nationals who were freed by a military court-martial after prosecution lost interest in several cases they were facing including illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s minister of foreign affairs told reporters in Kampala that the 13 who were released on Tuesday faced similar charges as those released earlier.

Last August, Uganda and Rwanda signed the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding aimed to normalize relations between the two countries.

Since the Luanda, Angola summit, both sides have held meetings to normalize the relations.  

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame are set to meet Friday at the common border at Gatuna in a bid to further ease the tension.

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