Africa: As Border Closure Escalates, a Rwandan Corpse is rejected at Border and Abandoned In Uganda
Kabale Regional Referral Hospital is stuck with the body of unidentified Rwandan national.
The deceased was on Tuesday transported to Katuna border from Kabarole District where he died from while working in one of the Tea Estates as a casual labourer.
However, on reaching at the border, Rwandan security officials declined the vehicle carrying the body from crossing into Rwanda.
Security officials argued that they cannot allow the deceased’s body to be crossed to Rwanda without documents.
A group of other Rwandan nationals who were transporting the body tried to use a porous border in Mukaranje, Katuna town council to cross to Rwanda but were also intercepted by the army and ordered to return to Uganda.
This forced the group to take the body to Kabale Central Police Station for help. Police instead took the body to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital mortuary.
However, after the body was taken to the mortuary, the group accompanying the body also switched off their phones and fled.
A mortuary attendant at Kabale hospital who preferred anonymity said that no person has turned up to claim the body.
Mr Brian Ampeire, the Kabale District Police Commander said that police will liaise with Kabale Municipal council so that the body can be buried in the municipal cemetery.
“Of course if the body is not claimed by the relatives, police liaise with relevant authorities to have the body buried. Some Rwandan nationals risk crossing to Uganda but it becomes hard for them to cross back,” he said.
Two weeks ago, two Rwandan nationals died at Kabale Referral Hospital and were buried in the municipal cemetery after failing to be claimed by their relatives.
Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda on February 27, 2019, allegedly to expedite construction works at Gatuna border. Rwanda advised truck drivers destined to Rwanda to use Kagitumba border via Mirama Hills.
Rwanda also advised its citizens against travelling to Uganda, saying it can’t guarantee their safety. Rwandan officials including President, Paul Kagame accused Uganda authorities of abducting its citizens and locking them up in un-gazetted places.
The country also accused the country of hosting, sponsoring and facilitating dissidents especially Rwanda National Congress-RNC and The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda FDLR, which has declared war on Rwanda.
Despite the border closure many Rwandan nationals have continued to risk and cross into Uganda to look for food.