Rwanda’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) personnel have blocked over 280 pilgrims from entering Uganda to celebrate along with thousands of pilgrims from across the world who have travelled to mark Uganda Martyrs’ day at Namugongo today on 3rd June 2019.
The pilgrims arrived at Katuna and Miramahill border on Saturday only to be denied to leave Rwanda by the security operative who have been manning at the Rwanda – Uganda border.
The day is celebrated world over in remembrance of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholics Uganda Martyrs who were executed between by Kabaka Mwanga II for their faith between January 31, 1885 and January 27, 1887.
According to local reports, there are about 330 pilgrims from Tanzania, 300 from Kenya, 110 from Malawi, 63 from South Africa, seven from Japan and 40 from Nigeria but non from Rwanda.
Relations between the two nations soured in February this year after Rwanda blocked Ugandan cargo trucks from entering its territory at the busiest crossing point, Gatuna, and barred its nationals from crossing into Uganda.
Rwanda accuses Uganda of illegally arresting, torturing and deporting its citizens, offering support to two foreign-based Rwanda rebel groups and economic sabotage.
Rwandan Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera accused Uganda of offering support to two foreign-based Rwanda rebel groups – Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
The government in Kampala has since denied the claims.
Sezibera in March revealed that they opted to block their nationals from traveling to Uganda because they could not guarantee their safety in the neighboring country.