Two men shot dead crossing to Rwanda through porous border

On 20 April 2021 at 03:23

Rwandan soldiers from the 63rd Battalion in Rubavu district have shot two men suspected of being enemies as they sneaked into Rwanda through porous entries.

The duo died immediately while three others returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

They were shot last night in Murambi village, Buhaza cell of Rubavu sector.

One of the deceased is Nzayisaba Jean Damascene from Rukoko cell, Rubavu sector who carried a sack of smuggled clothes while his colleague has not yet been identified.

Colonel Innocent Mpabuka, the Second-In-Command of 201 Brigade operating in the districts of Rubavu, Nyabihu, Ngororero and part of Rutsiro has told residents soldiers are deployed to protect their security and advised them against crossing through porous borders.

“We are not mandated to shot civilians. Our duty is to protect your security. It is difficult to distinguish citizens from enemies when people cross through such porous entries during night hours. If you cross along the day, we can arrest you for penalties. However, those people crossing during night hours are criminals because it might create loopholes for the enemy,” he said.

The mayor of Rubavu district, Gilbert Habyarimana has requested residents to avoid crossing through bushes reminding them that whoever opts for such paths is considered an enemy.

“Even though borders are closed; we have established a system facilitating trade between both countries’ citizens using authorized borders. We would like to remind you to abide by rules. It is saddening that some people still cross to the country overnight and pass by soldiers’ stances. Please, come to us for assistance and stop such acts. I would also like to reassure you that Rutagara border you requested might reopen soon,” he said.

In the meantime, Habyarimana reminded residents to cross through three authorized borders including Kabuhanga, Petite Barriere and Grande Barriere.

Last week, two more men were shot illegally crossing to Rwanda through the valley between Rwanda and DRC during night hours.

One of them died while his colleague survived with leg injuries.

A security meeting has been convened to comfort residents following the incident.