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114 Ugandans reject offer for repatriation from Rwanda

Last batch of Ugandans clearing with the Rwandan migration office at the Gatuna border as they wait to be handed over to the Ugandan migration and health officials at the Katuna border post side of Uganda.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | 114 Ugandans who were listed to be repatriated from Rwanda during the last batch of the exercise turned down the offer.

The government a week ago started repatriating Ugandans who got stuck in Rwanda after the closure of borders which was declared in March as a measure to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least 112 people were repatriated during the first batch and 94 on the second batch. But according to Annah Katusiime, the Deputy Head of Missions in Rwanda, only 66 people out of 180 who had registered with Uganda Embassy in Rwanda ready to be repatriated on Wednesday showed up.

Katusiime says that the immediate consultations made indicated that the 114 people made a U-turn and declined repatriation on the ground that they have no reason to be in Uganda so far. Katusiime adds that those who have declined indicated that they rather stay in Rwanda since both countries are facing a similar COVID-19 situation.

Wallace Bindeeba, the senior immigration officer at Katuna immigration cluster says that the received batch will also be taken to Entebbe for a compulsory 14-days quarantine.

However, some of the returnees, Phionah Nakiyemba from Kisoro district, Gift Akampurira from Kanungu and Adrine Kangabe from Kampala who are all teachers in Rwanda said that the situation in Rwanda had become worrying due to poverty. They explained that it was a struggle to raise money for food and accommodation since they stopped working following the closure of schools.

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