The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Woman Allegedly Gang Raped in India Is Not Rwandan

FOLLOWING reports from India indicating that five men allegedly assaulted, robbed and gang-raped a 24-year-old woman from Rwanda in north Delhi, Rwanda's High Commission in India says it has established that the woman is not Rwandan.

Investigations carried out by the High Commission in India indicate that the woman who possesses Ugandan identification papers and claims to be Rwandan may actually be a victim of human trafficking.

The victim, was at the time of the incident returning to her residence in the Timarpur area. She was reportedly raped on December 3.

"We have all the records of Rwandans living in India but this lady is not among them. She holds a Ugandan passport under the names of Jane Sserwadda and claims to be Rwandan saying that she left Rwanda in 1994 and has no relative or knows no one living in Rwanda.

"The victim doesn't know of any village in Rwanda, not even a particular place where she was born despite claiming that her Rwandan name is Mukankusi. We have no tangible evidence to present to the Government of India to claim that she is our citizen," said High Commissioner Williams Nkurunziza.

Nkurunziza added that the woman doesn't know a word in Kinyarwanda and after the rape incident she didn't report the case to either Uganda or Rwanda High Commissions.

"We spent five days working tirelessly to track her down after the media reported the case. When we got to her, she didn't want to talk to us but finally she agreed to talk and told us that she had acquired the Ugandan passport illegally," added Nkurunziza.

Investigations indicated that the victim does not want to return to either Uganda or Rwanda but wants to proceed to either United States or United Kingdom, Nkurunziza said.

"She told us that she was brought to India en-route to UK or US but upon reaching India, she was asked by her handlers to raise $5,000 so that she can be facilitated to proceed with the journey but she didn't have the money. She is probably a victim of human trafficking," said Nkurunziza.

Out of the five suspected rapists, four have been arrested by the Indian police, and reports indicate they have pleaded guilty.

The accused also took away the woman's belongings, it is alleged.

Reports from India indicate that they abducted her and later dumped her outside her rented room in Timarpur after the assault.

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