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Ugandan security authorities have declined to deport a Rwandan woman who runs away from the Police at the border and crossed into Uganda, at the Cyanika border point. Beatrice Uwamahoro, 44, on Tuesday evening escaped from the border Police and fled into Uganda, seeking asylum.

The mother of three is a resident of Kahunga village, Kidakama sub-county, in Rwanda’s Burera district. The Kisoro resident district commissioner, Capt. Peter Mugisha, said the woman, who left behind her two sons, who, too, fled from the Police, looked threatened and begged security not to be sent back to her country. “She seemed threatened and cried for mercy, saying her life would be in danger if she was forcefully sent back,” Mugisha stated.

Sources revealed that Uwamahoro on Tuesday approached the Rwanda border security with her two sons; Everest Nizeyimana, 19 and Noweri, 17, asking to be allowed to travel to Uganda, to seek asylum. She allegedly explained that her land had been grabbed by some rich people and she was left with no home and where to grow food. Sources indicated that the security officials declined her request and ordered her to return home, which she declined to do.

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It is alleged that her two sons fled back, fearing that they would be arrested, but Police officers tried to follow them, which gave a chance to Uwamahoro to run towards the Uganda side. The Rwandan Police tried to follow the woman but were blocked by the Ugandan security manning the border post.

The weeping woman later told journalists that she was almost starving after her land was taken and decided to seek refuge in Uganda. She, however, said she did not know the fate of her two sons, whether they were finally arrested and detained or they safely returned home.

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She said her elder son left for Uganda sometime back, but she did not know where he lived. “We had decided to forcefully return the woman. But she kept weeping, pleading to be instead taken to a refugee camp,” Capt. Mugisha said.

He said after interrogation, they took the woman to Nyakabande Transit Centre, as they studied her case. “We are planning to take her to the Office of the Prime Minister in Mbarara, where her case will be reviewed on whether she qualifies for refugee status,” Mugisha explained.

He said Uganda was facing a challenge controlling illegal immigrants who sneak into Uganda at night, using its porous border and they are not screened for Ebola, thus posing a danger.

WRITTEN BY NEW VISION