The Kisoro grade one magistrate’s court on Wednesday sentenced to a caution, 20 foreigners that pleaded guilty to the offence of illegal entry into Uganda.
The court presided over by Mr Raphael Vueni sentenced the foreigners that included 13 Rwandans, six Congolese, one Burundian, and asked the police to liaise with the immigration department of Uganda to arrange their deportation to their respective countries.
The foreigners were arrested on Tuesday from different buses at Kanaba security checkpoint in Kisoro District as they headed to different areas in Uganda where they claimed that were going to look for casual employment.
The Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, Mr Peter Mugisha, said that recently, cases of illegal entry into Uganda especially from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is rampant.
“The illegal immigrants from Rwanda and the DRC have been crossing into Kisoro District through porous border points and the offenders have always been handed back to the immigration officials of their respective countries,” he said.
Mr Mugisha advised foreigners from the neighboring countries to always get travel documents and use the gazatted border points if they want to enter Uganda.
“We do not prohibit foreigners from coming to Uganda. All we want is that they should use proper channels other than using porous entry points,” he said.
The Kisoro District LCV chairman, Mr Abel Bizimana, on Thursday said that there is a need for fresh dialogue meetings between the Uganda President and his Rwandan counterpart about the closed border.
“Arresting and deporting Rwandans is not a lasting solution because people have lost hope and they are desperate and yet they have to visit their relatives in Uganda and attend social functions. The artificial walls barring them from crossing to visit their relatives should be pulled down to allow trade and free movement of people from either country,” he said.
In March 2019, Rwandan authorities closed cross-border trade with Uganda before it stopped its citizens from crossing into Uganda claiming that it was a hostile country.