Ugandan shot dead in Rwanda for allegedly smuggling waragi, cosmetics

Ugandan national shot dead in Rwanda
Kabagambe becomes the 6th Ugandan national to be shot dead in Rwanda ever since Rwandan authorities closed cross-border trade with Uganda in march 2019. COURTESY PHOTO

Kabale, Uganda | URN | A 25-year-old Ugandan national has been shot dead in Rwanda for allegedly smuggling waragi and cosmetics into the East African country.

The deceased has been identified as Justus Kabagambe alias Kadogo, a resident of Rutare village in Butanda sub-county, Kabale district.

Ivan Bahika, Rugaga parish LC II chairperson says that Kabagambe was shot on Wednesday 18, August 2021 at around 10:00 pm at Kitovu village in Burera district, Northern Province in Rwanda.

According to Bahika, the incident occurred about half a kilometre away from the Uganda-Rwanda border. He says that Kabagambe was intercepted by Rwanda security personnel while carrying sachets of waragi and cosmetics. Bahika says that after he was shot, his body was taken to Butaro hospital mortuary in Burera town.

Elly Maate, the Kigezi Region Police spokesperson says that they are aware of the incident but are yet to ascertain the circumstances under which Kabagambe was shot. He adds that efforts to repatriate the body for burial are ongoing.

Maate warns locals against illegally crossing into Rwanda because it becomes difficult for Uganda to provide them with protection.

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Kabagambe joins a list of both Ugandan and Rwandan nationals to be killed by Rwandan security personnel on accusations of smuggling in Rwanda. Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda on February 27, 2019.

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame issued a travel advisory to his nationals against travelling to Uganda, saying their safety is not guaranteed. He accused Ugandan authorities of abducting Rwandan citizens and locking them up in non-designated areas.

The Rwandan authorities advised the truck drivers to use the Mirama Hill border in Ntungamo district. The border closure took a huge toll on truck drivers and suffocated businesses along the border especially Katuna and Chanika town.

This led to an increase in smuggling along the border with most Rwandan nationals crossing to Uganda through porous border points to buy food.