Uganda: Bodies of Ugandan Traders Shot in Rwanda to Be Repatriated

11 November 2019

The bodies of two Ugandan traders who were shot by Rwandan security operatives will repatriated for decent burial on Tuesday.

John Bosco Tuheirwe and Job Ebyarishanga, both residents of Kamwezi Sub-county were shot dead by Rwandan security about 1km away from the Mpororo border post in Kamwezi Sub County on Saturday night for allegedly smuggling tobacco.

Three other Ugandans who were with the deceased including Aron Ainebyoona, Christopher Byamukama and Emmanuel Niwamanya managed to flee back to Uganda.

In a press release issued on Sunday evening, the Rwanda National Police Spokesperson, Commissioner of Police, John Bosco Kabeera, said the Ugandans were shot in self-defence when they turned violent and assaulted police officers on duty.

Prikeria Muhindo Mwiine, the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner said efforts by the government of Uganda to have bodies repatriated for decent burial are underway.

According to Muhindo, officials from Ministry of External Affairs and Rukiga District security officials on Monday had a phone conversation with Fred Mufulukye, the Rwanda's Eastern Province Governor who told them that the bodies could be released on Tuesday.

Muhindo said they were told by Mufulukye that the bodies could not be released on Monday because investigations into what exactly happened which resulted into their shooting were not yet complete.

Muhindo called for patience among the families of the deceased and said the government of Uganda was doing what it can to have the bodies repatriated. She also urged residents in the area not to harm Rwandan nationals who live in Kamwezi.

By Monday, angry residents were planning to raid cows of some Rwandan nationals in Kamwezi and slaughter them for food during the burial of the deceased.

Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda in February 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.

President Paul Kagame later accused Ugandan authorities of abducting Rwandan 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 government. Rwanda advised its citizens against travelling to Uganda, saying it couldn't guarantee their safety.

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