The Rwanda Civil Society Platform has condemned the human rights violations being perpetrated by the government of Tanzania against Rwandans.
Rwandans, Burundians as well as Tanzanians of Rwandan origin have in the past week been forcefully deported, from the Kagera Region in the north-western part Tanzania.
According to the organisation, majority of the nearly 5,000 Rwandans expelled from Tanzania, are children, women and the elderly and other vulnerable people.
“Based on the facts collected from the ground by our delegation, a notice of only 14 days was issued, and all of them were arbitrary deprived of their properties contrary to the provisions of article 17 paragraph 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is a serious human rights violation they faced before eviction without any protection whatsoever,” reads part of the declaration signed by Edouard Munyamariza, the platform’s chairperson.
He called upon civil society organisations in Tanzania to request the Government of Tanzania to halt these inhumane activities as soon as possible, and hold it accountable for human rights violation acts already committed.
The chairperson of the Rwanda Tanzania Friendship Association (Rwatafa), Isidore Gahamanyi, said that his group works closely with many Tanzanian friends, and not the government, but was taken aback by what happened.
Rwatafa is the umbrella body of Rwandans who lived in Tanzania.
Gahamanyi said: “This situation was brought about by the government, right from the President. Members of Rwatafa were shocked. We lived in Tanzania and know Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) very well. Some of us were cadres for that party. We had Tanzanian nationality and we still have it. What surprises me most is that Tanzanians have degenerated into this.”
Graham Kateihwa, a Ugandan, said: “It is very sad to note that this is happening at a time like this when we are moving towards East African integration. I consider this a big setback.”