The Uganda Government has granted sixteen Rwandan students asylum. The students fled into Uganda early last month citing attempts by the Kigali government to conscript them into the M23 rebel ranks, which is involved in clashes with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
On their arrival in Kampala, the 16 students who are due for university, applied for asylum. In their application, the students cited threats by Rwandan officials in Kampala.
They particularly singled out John Ngarambe, the First Secretary at the Rwandan High Commission in Kampala, who allegedly visited them and threatened find them wherever they were and forcefully take them back to Rwanda.
Apollo David Kazungu, the commissioner for refugees in the Office of the Prime told local media on Tuesday that the refugee eligibility committee has granted the Rwandan students refugee status. Kazungu says they investigated the student’s claims and found them genuine.
Kazungu also disclosed that the students were out of Arua and placed in different camps to have them well protected. Issues of the Rwandan refugees came to light early last month with the Rwanda High Commissioner to Uganda, Frank Mugambage claiming that the students were misguided and would be returned to Rwanda.
He claimed that the students had fraudulently sat for their senior six examinations. However, Apollo Kazungu, the Commissioner for Refugees said that students wouldn’t be handed over to Rwanda against their will.