RUBAVU - Rwanda yesterday requested the Democratic Republic of Congo to release about five Rwandans who were arrested by Congolese officials shortly after voting in Rubavu District.
Congolese migration officials at Goma, arrested Abdul Karim, and others identified only as Gatuku, Cyura, Hamida and Kanyere, for allegedly holding double nationality, contrary to Congolese laws.
They were arrested while heading back to Goma, Rwandan immigration officials said.
The full identities and the exact number of those arrested were yet to be known.
Those arrested are said to reside near the border. They were discovered to have voted in Monday’s election after having indelible ink on their thumbs and on cross-checking they were found in possession of two ID’s from both countries.
“We don’t have the real numbers and identities, but one resident said he saw five people dragged to police. There could be more,” Sheikh Hassan Bahame, the Mayor of Rubavu told The New Times.
Bahame stressed that, those arrested are Rwandans living in DRC, who hold double nationality.
He added that he was trying to get in touch with the Goma mayor, but expected the matter to be handled by immigration officials of both countries.
Whatever the case, immigration and emigration officials said, if the Congolese constitution doesn’t recognize double nationality, any move about their release would be in good faith.
When contacted, the Congolese Directeur General de Migration, Mboliasa Kilulu, said he was still investigating the matter and promised to call back. However, by press time he had not done so.
“I am in Kinshasa now, I have heard about the reports but I’m still investigating the issue. I have nothing to say now, I will communicate later,” Kilulu said on phone.
It was reported that among those arrested include a pregnant woman, who felt labour complications and was reportedly rushed to a health facility in DRC.