Government of Uganda on Tuesday wrote a protest note to Rwanda after Rwandan soldiers shot and killed two Ugandans over allegations of smuggling.
The protest came just hours after Rwandan handed over the bodies of two Ugandans Job Ebyarishaga and Bosco Tuhirwe who were shot dead by Rwandan security forces in Tabagwe Sector, Nyagatare District last Sunday.
Rwanda didn’t apologize for the shootings with its police saying the unarmed Ugandans turned violent, assaulted police officers on duty and thus Rwanda forces had to act in self-defense.
The spokesman for Kigezi regional police, Mr Elly Maate said in a statement that upon re-examination of the bodies, the regional police surgeon team established that Ebyarishanga was shot in the chest and head while Tuhirwe was shot in the chest and ribs.
“The re-examination report shows that the two were executed at a close range using a gun most likely a pistol,” said Maate.
Uganda spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo said Tuesday that Uganda government had written to Rwanda asking for a joint investigation into the said murders and also demanded that the perpetrators be held accountable.
The protest was delivered to Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Maj Gen. Frank Mugambage, by Ambassador Patrick Mugoya, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uganda.
“The Government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the murder of its nationals by Rwandan security personnel for allegedly being involved in smuggling of goods across the common border. The alleged crime cannot justify the high handed and criminal act by the Rwandan security personnel, against unarmed civilians residing along the common border. Furthermore, the Ministry notes that these murders are inimical to the ongoing efforts to improve relations between the two countries. The Ministry demands that a joint investigation in the murders be conducted and the perpetrators held accountable,” a statement issued by Mr Ofwono reads in part.
Uganda said concern has been raised, regarding an incident in which a Rwandan national was shot and severely wounded on Rwandan territory, while returning from Uganda territory and was forced to flee back to Uganda.
“On Monday 4th November 2019, at about 1930hrs at Rushaki B Cell, Karujanga Parish, Rubaya Sub-county, Kabale district, a one Peter Havugimana 28 years, resident of Kabaya village (Omudugudu), Gishari Parish (Akagari) Rubaya Sub-county (Omurengye) in Gicumbi District (Akarere), a Rwandan national was received after being shot in the shoulder from about 200 meters in Rwanda, on the border with Uganda,” reads the statement signed by Ofwono Opondo.
Opondo said at the Clinic, a bullet was removed from his body and the victim is now in stable condition.
The Government of Uganda said it considers the shooting incident a “grave matter” and that although the latest victim is Rwandan, it constitutes a “pattern of reckless and high-handed acts on the part of Rwanda security personnel, against simple, ordinary people that live along the common border.”
Opondo said Government of Uganda is ready to hand Peter Havugimana to the relevant Rwanda Government authorities, if he wishes to return