The Rwanda National Police Spokesperson, John Bosco Kabera issued a statement on Saturday evening refuting the Ugandan narrative, saying the shooting occurred at Tabangwe sector in Nyagatare district. He says Rwandan security shot Nkyerengye and Nyesiga when he turned violent and resisted arrest with the help of others people from Uganda who were armed with machetes.
Ecega (pointing down) showing blood stains to Tebuka at the scene of crime in Uganda's side
Rwanda Government and Rwanda National Police has distanced its forces
from the deadly cross border shooting leaving many unanswered questions.
The statement follows the shooting of John Batista Nkyerengye,
a Rwandan national from Nkoma cell in Ntabarwe parish in Nyakatere District
and Alex Nyesiga Atuheire, a resident of Nyakabungo village in
Kyabuhangwa parish in Kamwezi Sub County in Rukiga District on Friday evening.
eye witnesses, the two were shot dead by a Rwandan soldier at Hamisavu trading center
in Mpororo in Kiruhura village in Kashekye parish in Kamwezi Sub County.
Eye witnesses say that it all started when Rwandan soldiers crossed to
Uganda to arrest a suspected Rwandan smuggler who tried to cross to Rwanda with
second hand clothes.
The smuggler had fled back to
Uganda after realizing that Rwandan security was on high alert. It is when Rwandan soldiers followed in hot
pursuit in an attempt to arrest the unidentified smuggler who fled into hiding.
According to eye witnesses, 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
It is during the scuffle that
one of the Rwandan soldiers pulled out an AK 47 that was concealed in a long
coat and shot the two to death. Uganda
police opened fire to disperse the Rwandan soldiers who were trying to carry
the deceased’s body.
who were over 40 in number, managed to retrieve the motorcycle, goods and the unidentified
Rwandan smuggler who had escaped. Uganda’s foreign affairs
ministry issued a protest note condemning the incursion by the Rwandan
soldiers on Uganda’s territorial boundary and called for appropriate action
against the perpetrators of the attack.
Saturday evening, the Rwanda National Police Spokesperson, John Bosco
Kabera issued a statement refuting the Ugandan narrative, saying the
said incident occurred at Tabangwe sector in Nyagatare district.
Rwandan security shot Nkyerengye and Nyesiga when he turned violent and
resisted arrest with the help of others people from Uganda who were armed with machetes. Kabera also notes that no further action was taken after the incident by security
officials who were on patrol.
He notes that Rwandan
security forces are known for professionalism and they need no lectures. Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Ministry also says the officers opened fire in self-defense and shot two people.
The ministry also insists that no Rwandan security officer crossed into Uganda,
adding that once the mob crossed back into Uganda with their wounded
associates, Rwandan security ceased pursuit.
Observations by Our Reporter
URN spent the entire Saturday at
Hamisavu trading Centre where Ugandan police
officers led by Richard Ecega, Kigezi Region Police Commander had
cordoned off the crime scene.
the Nyagatare District Police Commander in Rwanda, Emmanuel Hatari, the Eastern
Province Region Police Commander and other security officers crossed
into Uganda on Saturday evening in civilian attire with authorization from Ecega
to inspect the crime scene.
It is unclear how Ncherengye’s body moved
from the Rwandan side to Uganda as claimed by the Rwandan authorities. It is
also unclear how; Nyesiga walked from Rwanda to Kamwezi Health Centre IV in Uganda where he breathed his last
yet the Rwandan soldiers claim he was shot in Tabangwe sector in Rwanda.
It is also unclear why the Rwanda National Police statement indicates that
Ncherengye was the one smuggling second hand clothes on a motorcycle to
Rwanda yet eye witnesses, say the unidentified smuggler took off to
unidentified location. It is also unclear why Rwandan security officials crossed to Uganda to access
the scene of crime yet they claim that the victims were shot in
By Sunday afternoon, heavily armed police was still deployed on both
sides of the border. Bodies of the deceased were still lying at
Kabale Regional Referral Hospital mortuary. Ugandan
authorities will hand Ncherengye’s body to the Rwandan government at
Katuna border at Katuna border on Monday, according to the Foreign
Affairs Ministry statement.
This isn’t the
first time Rwandan soldiers are shooting at suspected smugglers.
On May 3, 2019, Rwandan soldiers shot Innocent Ndahimana, a beans trader and
resident of Nyakabungo Village in Chumbe in Gicumbi District Northern
Province in Rwanda while smuggling beans to Uganda through Katuna border
in Kabale district.
Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda on February 27, 2019
to purportedly expedite the construction of the single customs at Gatuna
border. Rwanda advised truck drivers destined to Kigali to use
Kagitumba border via Mirama Hills.
Rwandan officials including President, Paul Kagame later accused Ugandan
authorities of abducting its citizens and locking them up in ungazetted
areas. Rwanda also accused Uganda of hosting and facilitating
dissidents especially Rwanda National Congress-RNC and the Democratic Forces
for the Liberation of Rwanda FDLR, which have declared war on the Kigali
its citizens against travelling to Uganda, saying it can't guarantee
their safety. Rwanda also deployed security officials and
destroyed all temporary bridges to bar Rwandans from crossing to
Uganda. Despite the border closure and warnings, Rwandans continue
to cross to Uganda using porous borders to look for food stuffs and