It is Thanksgiving weekend in the United States and people are travelling long distances to be reunited with their families. It also coincides with Black Friday when businesses drastically slash their prices which people erroneously think is meant to give people an affordable Thanksgiving
However, the stores are actually being cleared to create space in preparation of an even bigger and even more lucrative festive season– Christmas and New Year.
But there are no festivities for Rwandans living in Uganda. The nightmares continue and this week is not worth any Thanksgiving. Instead, it is the same circus being repeated in a loop; Rwandans, who had been held illegally in Ugandan prisons for months, are suddenly dumped unceremoniously at the border.
Others, especially the border communities, are being separated from their families and told to leave everything behind and leave.
Then another comedy in the chapter is played out; hundreds are rounded up in Kisoro, just across the border, and a few hundred miles away in Kampala, four Rwandan students at Kampala International University, including their association’s leader, at picked up by military intelligence and locked up in a military camp.
What is most unfortunate is that most are simple peasants trying to eke out a living. But notwithstanding their station in life, we have made it a policy to report each incident every time a Rwandan national is held illegally or released without charge.
We are aware that making public all the actions carried out in bad faith by our neighbours, complete with photographic evidence, if possible, infuriates those caught with their hands in the cookie jar. We will continue to document all similar incidents as it is the victims’ only protection since they are denied consular protection.