Rwanda frees UPDF soldier captured at border

Monday June 14 2021
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A security officer manning the Uganda-Rwanda border post at Chyanika in Kisoro District. PHOTO/ ROBERT MUHEREZA

By Robert Muhereza

A Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier who was captured by the Rwandan soldiers as he patrolled the border line on Saturday evening has been released.

Private Baruku Muhuba attached to the 35 brigade in Kisoro District was released Sunday evening unconditionally, officials said Monday.

The Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, Mr Peter Mugisha told this reporter that they received communication from the Rwandan security personnel at Chyanika border asking them to go and pick the soldier.

“It was around 6pm when we received communication from the Rwandan border security at Chyanika asking us to go and pick the soldier. I went with other security personnel from Kisoro District and waited until 8pm when they handed him over to us. They also handed over the PK machine gun with its 100 bullets which the victim had in possession before he was captured. We are extremely happy to receive our soldier who told us that he was not harmed or injured although he was harassed a bit,” Mr Mugisha said.

Mr Mugisha added that given the circumstance under which the soldier was captured, the security team in Kisoro District have resolved that all the soldiers patrolling the international boundary shall begin moving with GPS to ensure that they are on Ugandan land and avoid any claims illegal entry by the neighbouring countries’ security operatives.

The capture of the soldier comes in the wake of frosty relations between the neighbouring countries that deteriorated in February 2019 when Rwanda shut its major border with Uganda.

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“The capture will not stop us from routine border patrols because our major objective is to secure the international boundary besides stopping illegal immigrants from the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo,” Mr Mugisha added.

Since the closure of cross border business between Uganda and Rwanda, five Ugandans have been shot dead while dozens were arrested by Rwandan security operatives on accusations of smuggling goods from Uganda into their country.


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