The Ugandan High Commission in Kigali, Rwanda has cautioned Ugandans who were last year repatriated from the neighbouring country to avoid going back, since the diplomatic standoff between the two states has not been resolved.
“Those who have been repatriated via road (land entry/exit ports / borders) once they exit Rwanda they cannot return to Rwanda via same ports as the Rwandan entry ports are officially closed until further notice from the concerned Rwandan authorities,” The High Commission cautioned in a Friday statement.
A total of 370 Ugandans were repatriated from Rwanda late last year during the government funded exercise to return its nationals that were trapped in foreign countries amid the global Covid19 lockdown.
The High Commission revealed that only the 370 “had registered as people who urgently needed to travel back home despite the estimated number of Ugandans living in Rwanda which is over 3,000.”
Following the September 2020 repatriation, the High Commission has continued to receive pleas from Ugandans still stranded in Rwanda to be helped return home.
In response, the Commission said today those who were not repatriated last year “did not register to be repatriated or did it out of own choice.”
None the less, the High Commission says the repatriation process is still ongoing.
“After 23/9/2020, the Mission is compiling data and seeking clearance from Gov’t of Rwanda which is granted in all cases. As of yesterday 6th May 2021 a total of 1,120 Ugandans have been cleared to return home.”
However, unlike last year, the Commission’s role this time will only be to register and secure clearance for the returnees from the Rwandan authorities.
“But they have to travel using their own means of transport,” the statement added.
In the meantime, the stranded Ugandans in Rwanda have been advised to avoid illegal overstay, any fraudulent use of travel documents or Covid-19 CPR Tests.
Rwanda closed its borders to Uganda in early 2019, accusing the neighbour to supporting dissident groups which are fighting to topple the government of President Paul Kagame.
The Kigali regime also accused Uganda of arresting scores of its citizens and detaining incommunicado on accusations of espionage.
Talks to resolve the standoff last year were interrupted among others by the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic.