The Zambian Government at the weekend deported to Kigali two Rwandan refugees for suspected involvement in the 1994 genocide, their lawyer told AFP on Monday.
“We don’t know what they have done, but one of our clients was told that he was involved in genocide and wanted back home,” said lawyer Dickson Jere.
The two are Egibe Rwasibo, who works as a medical officer at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, and businessman Innocent Habumugisha who operates shops in the capital city.
Jere said he was making efforts to challenge the deportation in court while the duo were still at Kigali airport.
“They are currently stranded at the airport in Kigali,” he said.
Some Rwandan nationals resident in Lusaka claimed the two were handcuffed and blindfolded before being taken to Kenneth Kaunda international airport.
Zambia’s Immigration Department spokesman Namati Nshinka confirmed the expulsion but denied it was linked to the genocide.
“Yes, it is true that the two were deported yesterday (Sunday). The reason is that their continued stay here was a danger to good order and peace. It’s nothing to do with genocide,” he said.
Rwanda’s 1994 genocide saw around 800,000 people — mostly members of the minority Tutsi community — slaughtered in a 100-day orgy of violence, largely by ethnic Hutus.
A source told AFP that the two have been living in Zambia since 1997.