On July 14 and 15, Ugandan police rounded up 1,700 Rwandan refugees and deported them back to Rwanda.
The police reportedly tricked the refugees, telling them they would distribute food and give them notice about their asylum appeals. Instead, they held them at gunpoint and forced them into trucks. Twenty-five people were injured from gunshots, and two people died after jumping off the trucks. In addition, some children were separated from their parents.
These outrageous acts are in violation of a number of accords and laws. The government is in violation of its own Citizenship and Immigration Act, which "outlines the due processes by which failed asylum seekers who have exhausted their right of appeal should be deported." By separating children from their families, the government is also in violation of the Children's Statute and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Many Rwandans fled to neighboring Uganda during the 1994 genocide, while others have fled in the last couple of years due to persecution. While some Rwandans have legal refugee status, the Ugandan government has rejected about 98 percent of asylum applications this year. Still, an estimated 15,000 Rwandans reside in Uganda.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports both that the Ugandan and Rwandan governments coordinated the mass deportations. Human Rights Watch claims that this is not the first time that the Rwandan government has pressured another country to deport refugees. Besides Uganda, the Tanzanian and Burundian governments have also deported refugees