The shooting of an unidentified smuggler by suspected
Rwandan security operatives in Rukiga district has raised panic
among the locals. According to locals, the suspected Rwandan security operatives
intercepted a smuggler at the Uganda-Rwanda border of Nyakisa hill at around 08:30 pm on Tuesday
As the operatives
moved to arrest him, the smuggler fled into the Ugandan side. As a result, the operatives opened fire shooting the smuggler three times just about 50 meters inside Mpororo village, Kashekye parish in Kamwezi sub-county. According to the locals, after the incident, the security operatives
crossed into Uganda and carried the deceased’s body back to
Matayo Kazoora and Emmanuel
Nshimiyimana, both residents of Kiruhura-Mpororo say that they heard three gunshots
on Nyakisa hill near their homes only to see Rwandan operatives on
Ugandan soil. The two say they were not brave enough to reach the crime scene for fear of being shot.
//Cue in: “omu shaaha ka…
Cue out: …eshagama hariya.”//
Terezore Nshimiyimana, a resident of Tabarwe village near
the Ugandan border in Nyagatare district, Eastern province in Rwanda says that
he also heard the three gunshots around 07:30 pm Rwandan time (08:30 pm Ugandan time). He explains after a while, he saw a police pickup park near the border in
Tabarwe village and security operatives loading a dead body.
Our reporter who reached the scene managed to see blood
stains on the grass and a bullet cartridge about 50 meters from the border. Abel Rubahika, the Kiruhura village LC 1 Chairman
says that on consulting with their friends in Rwanda, they were told that after
the shooting, operatives carried the body to Rwanda.
//Cue in: “mpuriire amasasi ashatu…
Cue out: …rwanda bamutwaara.”//
Rubahika says that the suspected Rwandan security operatives
used the advantage of the closure of the nearby Mpororo police post to freely
cross into Uganda and shoot their victim before carrying his body back to
Rwanda. He says that officers from the Mpororo police post would have intervened if it was still functional.
//Cue in: “ekindi kushaba Rwanda ….
Cue out: …rwanda owabo.”//
Ugandan security authorities led by Superintendent of Police
Hussein Niwagaba, the Rukiga District Police Commander were seen on Wednesday
examining the crime scene. They also interacted with the locals and
leaders in the area to establish the facts about the incident. Niwagaba referred our reporter to Elly Maate, Kigezi region police spokesperson when contacted for a comment.
Rwanda was yet to release an official
statement about the incident by the time of filing this story. Incidents of shooting smugglers by Rwandan security
authorities along the Uganda-Rwanda border were rampant during the border closure between 2019-January 2022 on orders of the Rwandan
Kagame accused Ugandan authorities of spying on Rwanda, abducting Rwandan
citizens and locking them up in non-designated areas, as well as hosting and
facilitating dissidents who have declared war on the Kigali administration. Rwanda also issued a travel advisory to its nationals against traveling to
Uganda, saying their safety was not guaranteed.
In May 2019, John Batista Ncherengye, a Rwandan national
from Nkoma cell in Ntabarwe parish in Nyakatere district, and Alex Nyesiga
Atuheire, a Ugandan national and resident of Nyakabungo village in Rukiga
district were gunned down by Rwandan security at Hamisavu trading center in Mpororo in
Kiruhura village in Kashekye parish in Kamwezi sub-county.
The incident happened when Rwandan soldiers crossed into
Uganda to arrest a suspected Rwandan smuggler who tried to cross to Rwanda with
secondhand clothes. The smuggler had fled back to Uganda after realizing that
Rwandan security was in hot pursuit.
A scuffle broke out when Rwandan soldiers
impounded a motorcycle registration number, RE736G, which the smuggler was
using but met resistance from residents who accused them of crossing into
Uganda illegally. It is during the scuffle that one of the Rwandan soldiers
pulled out an AK-47 that was concealed in a long jacket and shot the two to
death. Uganda police opened fire to disperse the Rwandan soldiers who were
trying to carry away the deceased’s body.