Bugesera seals routes used by illegal Burundian migrants

BUGESERA - Authorities in Bugesera district have announced that routes used by illegal migrants to enter the country from Burundi have been blocked.
Burundians at Ntemba border, waiting for clearence to go Ruhuha market in Bugesera. (Photo S. Rwembeho)
Burundians at Ntemba border, waiting for clearence to go Ruhuha market in Bugesera. (Photo S. Rwembeho)

BUGESERA - Authorities in Bugesera district have announced that routes used by illegal migrants to enter the country from Burundi have been blocked.

Bugesera Mayor, Louis Rwagaju, told the The New Times that several routes were closed after realizing that they facilitated movement of criminals and illegal goods, adding that there is now more vigilance of Marine patrol along Lake Rweru.

“Marijuana, illicit alcohol, smugglers and fire arms found their way into our country through illegal entry points. We thus had mutual agreement with our Burundian counterparts, to close such points,” he said.

“Residents doing small scale businesses near the border are allowed to enter Bugesera, using the recognisable Ntemba border post. The new development has returned sanity in the district.”

Bosco Nibitura, the head of immigration boss in Bugesera district, said that despite travellers having access to the temporary permits issued at Ntemba border, people still used the illegal routes using the lake.

“We have many Burundians entering the district to access markets, with residents of Kirundo Province buying food in Bugesera. We are, however, considering to open another small border post to cater for them,” Nibitura said.

Callixte Nzotungikimaye, 36, a cross border Burundian businessperson said that the new restrictions are welcome.
“The ‘short cuts’ were time saving, but dangerous, as some drowned in the lake.  The distance doesn’t matter, as long as we keep getting movement permits with ease,” he said.

Authorities from Burundi and Rwanda met last November and agreed to seal all illegal; entry points.

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