Rwanda’s deliberate killing of Ugandans living at the shared borders has not ended as yet another Ugandan national has been shot dead under unclear circumstances.
The deceased has been identified as Kadogo Justus Kabagambe, aged 25 years. He is a resident of Rutare Cell, Bugaaga Parish, Butanda Subcounty in Kabale District.
According to our source, the incident happened at around 10pm on Wednesday at a place approximately 2 km inside the Rwandan territory where the deceased had taken a few movit cosmetic products as requested by Rwandans across the border.
SoftPower News has since established that the deceased’s body was thereafter taken to Butaro Hospital in Burera District in Rwanda where it currently remains.
Authorities in Rwanda are yet to comment on the matter but in April this year, they declared as illegal, Ugandans seeking work in their country as the small East African country deported two female Ugandan nationals over the same.
The two Ugandans were identified as Birungi Monique, 25 and Kansiime Lillian, 26, both residents of Nyarutuntu Subcounty in Ntungamo district, were arrested on April 14 at Kibuye in Rwanda and later detained at Burera district in the Northern part of the country before dumping them at Katuna border post four days later with a deportation note referring to them as ‘prohibited immigrants.’
“Take note that you are declared a prohibited immigrant in Rwanda within the meaning of Articles 12 and 15 of law 57/2018 of 13/08/2018 on Immigration and Emmigration in Rwanda,” read the note by the Rwanda National Intelligence and Security Service.
Rwandan authorities have in the past shot dead dozens of Ugandans who travel to their country for trade or visit relatives. Many of these Ugandans are falsely accused of being smugglers. Kigali authorities have in the past also shot at Ugandan nationals within Uganda.
In January this year, a Ugandan, Teojen Ndagijimana, aged 26, was shot dead by Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) in Kumugu Trading Centre, Musanze District inside Rwanda, about three kilometres from the Ugandan border.
Other Ugandans who have been shot dead by Rwandan forces are Alex Nyesiga, 32, who was killed in May last year together with a Rwandan national as they entered Rwanda from Uganda.
On November 9, two other Ugandans, Job Ebyarishanga and Bosco Tuheirwe, both residents of Rukiga District near the shared border, were shot dead about 1km inside Rwanda. Rwanda police later claimed the deceased were smuggling raw tobacco into the country.
The killed Ugandans and Rwandans are never tried by any Rwandan court of law but shot dead.
It should be noted that Kabagambe’s killing happened amid the ongoing efforts to mend the relations between Kampala and Uganda.
Relations became frosty in February 2019 when Rwanda unilaterally closed its border with Uganda at Katuna in February last year, stopping movement of goods and people from either country. Goods perished as cargo trucks whose drivers and proprietors were unaware of the developments queued up on the Ugandan side of the border. Rwanda at the time claimed the closure was due to ongoing construction.
President Kagame later said that while communication had been made that he closed the border due to construction, the reasons were political.
He would later bar Rwandan nationals from crossing to Uganda by road through Katuna border.
However, Rwandans who travel to Uganda by air from Kigali through Uganda’s Entebbe aiport are not stopped by the Rwandan authorities.
Ugandan authorities on the other hand said that while Rwandans are welcome to Uganda as always, the country will not tolerate comprising of its national security.
A number of Rwandans were arrested inside the territory of Uganda and charged for kidnapping Rwandan refugees and asylum seekers and illegally repatriating them to Rwanda, among other security related charges.
Uganda hosts more than one million four hundred thousand refugees including Rwandan refugees who have over the recent years fled the country in thousands.
Uganda’s open-door policy to refugees is hailed by the United Nations (UN) as the most progressive in the world.