Uganda has deported an estimated 3,000 Rwandan nationals who had been living in the country since at least 2003.
Ugandan newspapers say police and troops raided two camps in the Kibati district Thursday and ordered the Rwandans to board trucks, which immediately took them back to Rwanda. Rwandan officials cooperated with the deportation, while officials from the U.N. refugee agency observed the exercise.
The officials say the Rwandans went home voluntarily. However, individuals said the deportation caught them by surprise, and that they feel endangered going back home.
Most of the Rwandans are said to be Hutus who fled their country after the 1994 genocide. The group never achieved official refugee status, either in Uganda or in Tanzania, where they spent several years before being expelled.
The New Vision newspaper quotes a Ugandan official, Douglas Aslimwe, as saying there is no war in Rwanda, and that the time has come for the Rwandans to go home and enjoy their country's peace.
Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 people during Rwanda's 1994 genocide - most of them Hutu moderates or ethnic Tutsis.