PRAYERS were said last night for the safety of a failed asylum seeker and her two children.

Elizabeth Kiwunga, her four-year-old daughter and six-month-old son face an uncertain future after they were deported back to Uganda last night.

Ms Kiwunga fled the African country in 2002, where she said she was raped and tortured because of her former husband’s political associations with the opposition party.

There are fears that she could be arrested when she gets off the plane.

Last-ditch attempts to file vital legal and medical records which could have helped Ms Kiwunga’s case appear to have failed.

Darlington MP Alan Milburn faxed documents to Home Office Minister Phil Woolas.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Mr Milburn said: “We’ve been sending the documents to Mr Woolas’ office to support Elizabeth’s plea to stay in the country.”

The community in Darlington has rallied round Ms Kiwunga’s cause.

Last night, a candlelit vigil was held outside St Columba’s Church, in Clifton Avenue, at 8pm, as she was leaving the country.

Ms Kiwunga and children Hilary-Marie and John were taken from Darlington by immigration officials in the early hours of Sunday to Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, in Bedfordshire.

Her children were put into a separate car as they were removed from the home of Reverend Sheilagh Williamson, where they were staying.

Neither of her children have been to Uganda and both were born in Britain.

North-East MEP Stephen Hughes has also petitioned Mr Woolas to review Ms Kiwunga’s case.

Last night, his wife, Cyndi, a borough councillor in Darlington, said: “We’ve made some last-minute representations to the Children’s Commissioner and we were hopeful we could get John’s father’s British passport number, but it now doesn’t look likely.”

Jeremy Oppenheim, the UK Border Agency’s North-East director, said: “We only seek to remove individuals or families where they have been found by ourselves and independent courts to have no right to remain here in the UK.

“Enforced removal is always a last option and the UK Border Agency always encourages those here illegally to return voluntarily.

“Our assisted voluntary return scheme, managed by the independent International Organisation for Migration (IOM), offers a tailored package in kind to help people both prepare for their return and also with their resettlement back in their home country.”