Uganda, Rwanda trade accusations over border killings

Sunday May 26 2019
latest001 pix

Rwanda National Police spokesperson CP John Bosco Kabera

Kampala and Kigali traded accusations Saturday after Ugandan police accused Rwandan soldiers of entering the country and killing two men, further stoking tensions between the two countries.
Rwanda, however, disputed the Ugandan version of events and said the incident happened on its side of the border after officers were attacked with machetes.
"The government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the violation of its territorial integrity by Rwandan soldiers and the criminal, brutal and violent act... against unarmed civilians," the Ugandan foreign ministry said.

Relations between Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, once close allies, have turned deeply hostile in recent months with the pair making allegations of espionage, political assassinations and meddling against each other.

In a statement, Rwanda National Police said Rwandan security forces were attacked by people with machetes after stopping the suspected smuggler on a motorcycle after he crossed the border from Uganda.
"The officers shot two people, one Rwandan, who died instantly and one Ugandan who later died," it said. "The incident happened in Rwanda."

READ

  • Uganda issues protest note to Rwanda over deadly border shooting

    Saturday May 25 2019

    latest006 pix

    Uganda on Saturday wrote a note verbale to Rwanda after Rwandan soldiers allegedly entered its territory and killed two men, amid rising tensions between the leaders of the two countries.
    Relations between Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, once close allies who backed each other into power, have turned deeply hostile in recent months, with the pair trading accusations of espionage, political assassinations and meddling in each other's backyards.

    Uganda said the alleged raid occurred around 8pm on Friday at a border post near the Ugandan village of Kiruhura in Rukiga District in the west of the country.
    Uganda’s ministry of foreign affairs on Saturday said they were ready to hand over the body of one of the victims, John Batista, 25 to the government of Rwanda on May 27, 2019. The other victim was identified as Alex Nyesiga, a Ugandan.

    Authorities said the soldiers entered "about 50 metres into Ugandan territory" in pursuit of Batista, a businessman and resident of Nkoma cell, Ntarabwe Parish, Burasirazooba sub county, Nyagatare District in Rwanda, who rode into Uganda on a motorbike laden with goods from Uganda but made a U-turn on seeing the soldiers.
    "The victim resisted attempts to arrest him, and he was shot to the head and killed instantly," reads part of the statement adding that Nyesiga who tried to intervene was also shot dead.
    The soldiers then retreated into Rwanda.

    READ:

    Rwandan soldier on anti-smuggling mission kills two people in Uganda

    Saturday May 25 2019

    latest004 pix

    Police in Rukiga District in Western Uganda are investigating a case in which two people were on Friday shot dead by a Rwandan soldier on anti-smuggling mission.
    The Kigezi regional police commander, Mr Richard Ecega identified the deceased as John Batista Kyerengye, a resident of Nkoma cell, Ntabarwe parish in the Rwandan district of Nyakatere and Alex Nyesiga, 32 and resident of Nyakabungo cell, Kyabuhangwa parish in Kamwezi Sub County, Rukiga District.

    Mr Ecega said he had already sent for the police surgeon to do post-mortem before the bodies are handed over to the relatives for burial.
    The LCIII chairman for Kamwezi Sub County, Mr Tedson Niwagaba told Daily Monitor that the shooting happened on Friday at about 8pm at Habusavu trading centre located about 50 meters away from the Uganda-Rwanda international boundary.

    “The Rwandan soldier crossed the borderline pursuing a suspected smuggler carrying a bale of second-hand clothes on a motorcycle from Uganda. The suspected smuggler parked the motorcycle on the Ugandan side and disappeared. The soldier who was pursuing him tried to impound the motorcycle but was intercepted by residents who had gathered in attempt to stop him,” said Mr Niwagaba who also heads the Sub County security committee.

    Mr Niwagaba added that: “He shot at them and ran back to Rwanda. The Rwandan national died on spot because he was shot in the head while the Ugandan died on the way to Kamwezi Health Centre IV because of over bleeding. He was shot in the thigh.”
    He said their bodies were taken to Kamwezi Health Centre IV for autopsy.

    Gruesome pictures of the victims have been circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms since last night.

    Uganda police on Saturday issued a statement condemning the incident and said there was no justification for the illegal entry and use of deadly force by the Rwandan soldier.

    "The police strongly condemn the violent acts of killing innocent civilians with impunity, regardless of their immigration status. In this very in this very instance, there was no justification for the illegal entry and use of deadly force by the Rwandan military, due to the presence of alternative, adequate and effective remedies available at our disposal. For instance, in the recent past, 44 Rwandan nationals, who had illegally entered Uganda, were intercepted in Kasese District and deported to Rwanda in a very peaceful manner,” said Police spokesperson Mr Fred Enanga.

    Mr Enanga said the matter had been forwarded to the national security committee and ministry of Foreign Affairs for better management.
    “We would wish to urge our counterparts to respect the rights of citizens along the border and avoid acts of provocation that can easily destabilise the prevailing peace along the border,” he added.
    Related case
    On May 2, a 41-year-old Rwandan businessman, Mr Innocent Ndahimana, was shot and injured on the right arm by a Rwandan security official as he tried to smuggle about 500Kgs of beans into Uganda through an gazette border point in Rushaki village in Rubaya Sub County in the western Uganda district of Kabale.

    He was saved by his colleagues who rushed him to Katuna Community Medical Clinic for treatment.
    In February this year, Rwanda closed all its common border posts with Uganda including; Katuna, Kagitumba, Mirama Hills and Cyanika accusing Uganda of harbouring Rwandan dissidents.

    "The government is ready to hand over the body of the deceased Rwandan national on Monday 27th May 2019 at Katuna. The government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the violation of its territorial integrity by Rwandan soldiers and the criminal, brutal and violent act by the Rwandan soldiers, on Ugandan territory against unarmed civilians. The ministry demands that action be taken against the perpetrators of this attack. The government of Rwanda is strongly urged to take appropriate measures to avoid recurrence of such provocative incidents in the future," the statement adds.

    Rwandan officials were not available for comment.
    The border is porous and traders often smuggle goods from Uganda into Rwanda.
    Rwanda has drastically reduced the quantity of imports from Uganda a few months ago and its citizens are banned from crossing over to Uganda.
    Uganda however has not imposed tit-for-tat measures.
    Uganda’s Police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga earlier said 44 Rwandans had been intercepted illegally entering southwestern Uganda recently and had been handed back in a "very peaceful manner."

    The row between the two strongmen risks dragging in their neighbours, threatening economic integration and regional stability in an already conflict-prone swathe of the continent.
    The standoff escalated dramatically in March when Rwanda publicly accused Uganda of abducting its citizens and supporting rebels bent on overthrowing the government.
    Museveni -- who has admitted meeting, but not endorsing, anti-Kagame rebels -- harbours his own suspicions about his erstwhile ally. His officials have accused Rwandans in Uganda of spying, and some have been detained by military courts or deported.

  • Rwandan soldier on anti-smuggling mission kills two people in Uganda

    Saturday May 25 2019

    latest004 pix

    Police in Rukiga District in Western Uganda are investigating a case in which two people were on Friday shot dead by a Rwandan soldier on anti-smuggling mission.
    The Kigezi regional police commander, Mr Richard Ecega identified the deceased as John Batista Kyerengye, a resident of Nkoma cell, Ntabarwe parish in the Rwandan district of Nyakatere and Alex Nyesiga, 32 and resident of Nyakabungo cell, Kyabuhangwa parish in Kamwezi Sub County, Rukiga District.

    Mr Ecega said he had already sent for the police surgeon to do post-mortem before the bodies are handed over to the relatives for burial.
    The LCIII chairman for Kamwezi Sub County, Mr Tedson Niwagaba told Daily Monitor that the shooting happened on Friday at about 8pm at Habusavu trading centre located about 50 meters away from the Uganda-Rwanda international boundary.

    “The Rwandan soldier crossed the borderline pursuing a suspected smuggler carrying a bale of second-hand clothes on a motorcycle from Uganda. The suspected smuggler parked the motorcycle on the Ugandan side and disappeared. The soldier who was pursuing him tried to impound the motorcycle but was intercepted by residents who had gathered in attempt to stop him,” said Mr Niwagaba who also heads the Sub County security committee.

    Mr Niwagaba added that: “He shot at them and ran back to Rwanda. The Rwandan national died on spot because he was shot in the head while the Ugandan died on the way to Kamwezi Health Centre IV because of over bleeding. He was shot in the thigh.”
    He said their bodies were taken to Kamwezi Health Centre IV for autopsy.

    Gruesome pictures of the victims have been circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms since last night.

    Uganda police on Saturday issued a statement condemning the incident and said there was no justification for the illegal entry and use of deadly force by the Rwandan soldier.

    "The police strongly condemn the violent acts of killing innocent civilians with impunity, regardless of their immigration status. In this very in this very instance, there was no justification for the illegal entry and use of deadly force by the Rwandan military, due to the presence of alternative, adequate and effective remedies available at our disposal. For instance, in the recent past, 44 Rwandan nationals, who had illegally entered Uganda, were intercepted in Kasese District and deported to Rwanda in a very peaceful manner,” said Police spokesperson Mr Fred Enanga.

    Mr Enanga said the matter had been forwarded to the national security committee and ministry of Foreign Affairs for better management.
    “We would wish to urge our counterparts to respect the rights of citizens along the border and avoid acts of provocation that can easily destabilise the prevailing peace along the border,” he added.
    Related case
    On May 2, a 41-year-old Rwandan businessman, Mr Innocent Ndahimana, was shot and injured on the right arm by a Rwandan security official as he tried to smuggle about 500Kgs of beans into Uganda through an gazette border point in Rushaki village in Rubaya Sub County in the western Uganda district of Kabale.

    He was saved by his colleagues who rushed him to Katuna Community Medical Clinic for treatment.
    In February this year, Rwanda closed all its common border posts with Uganda including; Katuna, Kagitumba, Mirama Hills and Cyanika accusing Uganda of harbouring Rwandan dissidents.


Ugandan police said earlier the raid occurred around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) on Friday at a border post near the Ugandan village of Kiruhura in Rukiga district in the west of the country.

Advertisement

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said the soldiers entered "about 80 metres into Ugandan territory" in pursuit of a Rwandan on a motorbike.
"The victim resisted attempts to arrest him, and he was shot to the head and killed instantly," Enanga said, adding that a Ugandan who tried to intervene was also shot dead.

The soldiers then retreated back into Rwanda, he said.
"In this very instance, there was no justification for the illegal entry and use of deadly force by the Rwandan military, due to the presence of alternative, adequate and effective remedies available at our disposal," he said.
The border is porous and traders often smuggle goods from Uganda into Rwanda.

Rwanda drastically reduced imports from Uganda a few months ago and its citizens are banned from crossing over into Uganda.
Uganda however has not imposed tit-for-tat measures.
Enanga said Rwanda must "avoid acts of provocation". He said 44 Rwandans had been intercepted illegally entering southwestern Uganda recently and had been handed back in a "very peaceful manner."
The row between the two strongmen risks dragging in their neighbours, threatening economic integration and regional stability in an already conflict-prone swathe of the continent.

The standoff escalated dramatically in March when Rwanda publicly accused Ugandaof abducting its citizens and supporting rebels bent on overthrowing the government.
Museveni -- who has admitted meeting, but not endorsing, anti-Kagame rebels -- harbours his own suspicions about his erstwhile ally. His officials have accused Rwandans in Uganda of spying, and some have been detained or deported.

Advertisement