My Oct 21 post yielded frightening information from Kagera. Tanzania is in full right to correctly expell illigal imigrants. But the world community is also in their full right to protest against illigal expelling of citizen due to their ethnic belonging. The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affaire and others that need to act now must destinguish between two separate issues in Kagera:1. Serious humanitarian issues re expelled illigal immigrants!2. Human rights violations re illigaly expelled citizen. This is a part of a mail I got from a relative to one of the illigaly expelled:
.... my sister has already been expelled recently from Kagera, Tanzania, after having lived there from the early 1970s. She is around 70 years of age, of poor health. She was picked up without notice and carried off to the border. Today, nobody knows of her whereabouts. My brothers and other family, who have lived all their life in Tanzania, now live in imminent fear and anxiety, not knowing when they will be rounded up and expelled.
The origin of this tragic state of affairs for my family started in the 1930s. My father, a man of Ugandan origin .... married my mother, a Tutsi woman, in Rwanda. However, my father, together with plenty of other Rwandans, got tired of being constantly harassed, beaten and humiliated by the Belgian colonial authorities, who were infamous for their ruthlessness. They left Rwanda by foot and crossed the woodlands into Tanzania. They built up lives as farmers in Tanzania ..... Kagera region..... in the early 1970s my above-mentioned sister joined them.
The have all gotten children in Tanzania, integrated, and speak the local language kinyambo fluently. They have laboured and contributed to make a more prosperous region out of Karagwe.
When Mwalimu Julius Nyerere came to Bukoba around 1980, he responded to complaints from local citizen about problems with foreigners in the region that Tanzanians should respect and show tolerance of their African brethren, and granted citizenship to most. John Chiligati, current Minister of Home Affairs, has stated explicitly that long-term immigrants will be given time and opportunity to acquire residence permits at a nominal price of 10,000/- TSh and also apply for citizenship.
In spite of these clear statements from the highest political authorities, the members of my family ? as well as many others ?, who have resided as law-abiding and productive members of Tanzanian society for many decades, are currently put in a situation of utmost anxiety. They do not know if, whether and when they will be rounded up and expelled to a country with which most of them have no or only sparse relation to. The rumour even goes that they will not even get time to bring or sell their belongings, livestock and so forth.........Can one get clearer documentation of imminent ethnic cleansing ? I do not think what happens is planned by the Tanzanian government, to protest against local illigal action is not directed against the country, it is paying respect to the honourable human right records of Tanzania .