Monday, August 26, 2013

RWANDA-UGANDA:Rwandan refugee student rescued

By Risdel Kasasira & Andrew Bagala

A Rwandan student, who claims he was abducted by unknown gunmen from Rwanda in April and taken DR Congo for military training before he fled to Uganda, was yesterday rescued by police after he was found unconscious in Lusazi, a city suburb in Rubaga Division.
Mr Pascal Manirakiza, 23, had torture marks, but was regaining his conscious after he was admitted at Mulago hospital yesterday afternoon.
The refugee office in the Office of Prime Minister was planning to transfer him to another hospital.
The senior refugee protection officer, Mr Douglas Asiimwe, said Mr Manirakiza is an asylum seeker who disappeared last week.
“Police found him dumped in the cemetery. He has torture marks and is gaining conscious. He will tell us what happened when he gets better,” Mr Asiimwe said. Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi said he was still finding out details about the incident.
Third case
Mr Manirakiza is the third Rwandan to be abducted in three weeks, a situation that prompted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to issue a strong statement telling Uganda to ensure security of Rwandan refugees in Uganda.
“UNHCR is sending a strong protest note to the Ugandan government over the recent spate of abductions of refugees and asylum seekers and the assassination attempts on Joel Mutabazi by people who appear to be non-Ugandans,” the UNHCR spokesperson, Ms Kitty Mckinsey, said last week. Her statement followed the arrest of Lt Mutabazi, a former Rwandan Presidential guard, by Ugandan police who was being extradited to Rwanda.
During an interview with the Daily Monitor in July, Mr Manirakiza said he was a studying at CEPEM Secondary School in Ruhengeri, but was abducted from Rwanda and conscripted into M23 ranks, an allegation the Rwandan High Commissioner, Maj Gen Frank Mugambagye dismissed as “false claims”.
Gen Mugambagye said the Rwandan refugees were making false claims to get refugee status in Uganda. As he attempted to flee the training camp in Congo, Mr Manirakiza said he was shot in the leg and before his alleged kidnap, was nursing wounds on his left leg.

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