The 16 Rwandan students who fled their country and sought asylum in Uganda will not be taken to a camp in Western Uganda, the Commissioner for refugees Apollo David Kazungu has said. Speaking in a telephone interview, Kazungu said the students will be taken to a camp in West Nile, adding that the students cannot dictate where they want to go.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Kazungu said the students will be taken to a camp in West Nile, adding that the students cannot dictate where they want to go.
Kazungu’s revelation clears the air over earlier fears by the students seeking asylum. They fled their home country last week and reported to Ugandan authorities at Old Kampala where they have now refused to leave fearing for their security. They claim that the Kigali government wanted to forcefully recruit them into the M23, a rebel group in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The students vow not to leave Old Kampala police station where they are staying in open air with no meals. They told Uganda Radio Network that a top Rwanda Embassy official in Kampala came and tried to lure them not to seek asylum.
When the students refused, the official, John Ngarambe, who is the First Secretary at the embassy, is said to have promised to find them in any camp where they would be taken. One of the students who identified himself as leader of the group expressed concern about their security when they move to the camps. Ngarambe has not yet commented on the story.
On Thursday afternoon, another unidentified official from the Office of the Prime Minister, tried to lure them to go into a camp and leave Old Kampala police station but they refused.
The students visited the Refugee Law Project where they were told of the need to respect the decisions of the host country.
However, Kazungu said the individual students’ claims would be looked into to determine their credibility before they are granted asylum.