Rwanda government on Tuesday handed over bodies of two Ugandan traders shot by Rwandan security forces on Saturday night.
Job Ebyarishaga and Bosco Tuhirwe were killed at Tabagwe village in Nyagatare District in Rwanda on allegations of smuggling tobacco into the neighbouring East African country.
Rwanda National Police Spokesperson, Commissioner of Police, John Bosco Kabeera, said on Sunday that the two traders were shot in self-defence after they allegedly turned violent and assaulted police officers on duty.
Their bodies were handed to Ugandan authorities at Kamwezi boarder point at Buzuba cell Kashekye Parish Kamwezi Sub County on Tuesday afternoon.
The Mayor of Nyagatare District Mr Claudian Mushabe and regional police commander for Eastern province ACP Emmanuel Hatari headed the Rwandan delegation while the Ugandan team that received the bodies was headed by the Rukiga Resident District commissioner Ms Pulkeria Muhindo and the Regional Police Commander for Kigezi Ssp Eddie Serunjogi.
The spokesman for Kigezi regional police, Mr Elly Maate said that the bodies were re-examined by the regional police surgeon team. It was established that Ebyarishanga was shot in the chest and head while Tuhirwe was shot in the chest and ribs. He added that the case has been recorded at Rukiga police station as GEF 006/2019.
“The re-examination report shows that the two were executed at a close range using a gun most likely a pistol,” Mr Maate said.
Mr Maate further said the bodies were in turn given to their respective families for burial and urged residents remain calm as tempers in the area flare.
For some time now, relations between Rwanda and Uganda have been tense. In February, Rwanda closed its side of the border at Gatuna, blocking Ugandan goods from entering its country. Rwandan citizens were also barred from crossing into Uganda.
In August, President Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame met in Angola, and signed a pact to mend their relations and end the border blockade. An ad hoc committee comprising members from both countries was later formed to work out a solution but the relations remain fragile with Rwanda maintaining the border blockade for Ugandan goods.