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Rwandan Community In Uganda Seeks Formal Citizenship Recognition

Rwandan Community In Uganda Seeks Formal Citizenship Recognition

A Rwandan diaspora organization operating in Uganda is advocating for the rights of its members who have lived in the country for generations but still do not have full citizenship status.

The Rwandan Community in Uganda Association (RUCA) represents an estimated population of several hundred thousand people who identify as both Rwandan and Ugandan due to their family history. Many were born in Uganda to parents or grandparents who came from Rwanda in previous decades.

However, under Ugandan law they are still classified as foreign nationals rather than citizens despite establishing lives and families in the country for extended periods of time in some cases.

RUCA chairman Donat Kananura says this marginalizes the community and prevents them from accessing certain social services, business opportunities, and political participation that citizenship would provide.

“We are asking the government to recognize our people as Ugandan through a formal naturalization process. Having lived here for so long yet still being seen as outsiders is discriminatory and denies our deep connection to this land,” said Ngoga.

The group plans to petition parliament and engage in civic education campaigns to raise awareness of their situation and push for legislative reform.

However, the issue of nationality and naturalization is complex with concerns about maintaining control over borders and national identity.

However Ugandan officials have not publicly commented on RUCA’s demands so far. As discussions continue, both sides will need to find an equitable solution that upholds the rights of long-term residents while respecting the prerogatives of sovereignty.

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