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Bodies of Ugandans shot dead in Rwanda to be repatriated

Rukiga district security officials at Uganda-Rwanda border of Mpororo in Kamwezi

Nyagatare, Rwanda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  The bodies of two Ugandan nationals who were shot dead by Rwandan security operatives will repatriated for decent burial on Tuesday. 

John Bosco Tuhirirwe and Job Byarushaga, both residents of Kamwezi Sub-county were shot dead by Rwandan security at Tabarwe sector in Nyagatare district in the wee hours of Sunday morning, about 200 meters from Ugandan border 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 Rational 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 says that 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 managed to have a phone call conversation with Fred Mufulukye, the Eastern Province Governor who told them that the bodies could be released on Tuesday.

Muhindo says that 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 calls for patience among the families of the deceased saying that the government of Uganda is doing what it can to have the bodies brought from Rwanda. She also calls for calm among 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 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 government.  Rwanda advised its citizens against travelling to Uganda, saying it can’t guarantee their safety.

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