Nyagatare, Rwanda | URN | Two Ugandan men have been shot dead in Rwanda.
John Bosco Tuhirirwe, 30, a resident of Nyakabungo village in Kyabihangwa parish and Job Byarushaga, 37, a resident of Kiruhura village, Kamwezi in Rukiga district were shot dead on Sunday 10th morning at around 5:00am at Nyagatare district, Rwanda about 200 metres from the Ugandan border.
According to eyewitnesses, the deceased together with three others identified as Aron Ainebyoona, Christopher Byamukama and Emmanuel Niwamanya were smuggling tobacco using bicycles from Kamwezi to Rwanda.
They had crossed into Rwanda through a porous border of Mproro commonly known as Busia. Byamukama, one of the survivors says that they were first intercepted by Local Defense operatives and quizzed why they had crossed into Rwanda.
Byamukama says that as they tried to plead for forgiveness but the operatives alerted security officials from Nyagatare. Byamukama says that security operatives from Nyagatare started shooting at them killing Tuhirirwe and Byarishanga on spot.
Byamukama says that the Byarishanga was shot twice while Turirirwe was shot once in the chest. Byamukama says that they abandoned their bicycles and fled back to Uganda.
Jackson Muganiizi, Rukiga LC V vice chairman, who is also the district councilor representing Kamwezi sub county says that after shooting, Rwandan security operatives wrapped the bodies in sacks and carried them to Nyagatare.
“People are being killed in Rwanda and we’re normally hearing that even Rwandans [crossing into Uganda] are being shot day and night. But the incident of this night is really terrible because we were getting used to interacting with them [again]. Those coming to get something to eat or drink,” said Muganiizi.
Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda in February 2019 to purportedly expedite the construction of the single customs at Gatuna border. The borders have remained closed since but there have been positive talks between the Kigali and Kampala governments. Rwanda President Paul Kagame then 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 and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, who have declared war on the Kigali government. Rwanda advised its citizens against travelling to Uganda, saying it can’t guarantee their safety.