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.
“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.
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.
By Daily Monitor