Smugglers shot after turning violent close to border post near Uganda

On 25 May 2019 at 09:51

Rwandan security forces on patrol intercepted this Friday, a suspected smuggler on a motorcycle in Tabagwe Sector, Nyagatare, who had crossed the border from Uganda at an ungazetted border point.

The suspect resisted and turned violent, and was joined by others who attacked the officers with machetes while attempting to flee back to Uganda. The officers shot two people, one Rwandan who died instantly and one Ugandan who later died. Once the gang had crossed back over the border to Uganda, no further action was taken by the patrol.

The gang left behind a motorcycle (RE736G) laden with smuggled used clothes (caguwa).

The Daily Monitor wrote that on Friday, around 8 pm, the two people were shot in a Centre known as Habusavu, ’about 50 meters into Ugandan territory’, which was reported as misleading, by Rwandan security forces.

“Contrary to the communiqué issued by the Uganda Police Spokesperson and some media reports, the incident happened in Rwanda,” reads the official communiqué from Rwanda National Police (RNP).

This was further echoed by Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera, who dismissed the incident as untrue.

"Fake news: no such thing happened," he wrote, adding that a detailed response would be coming shortly.

Following the incident, Ugandan and Rwandan authorities met on Saturday morning to jointly examine the issue. The Rwandan delegation was headed by Mayor David Claudien Mushabe accompanied ACP Emmanuel Hatari, RPC Eastern Region. The Ugandan side was led by the LC5 Chairperson of Rukiga District Alex Akampikaho, CSP Byaruhanga, and the Deputy DPC of Kabale District, among others. The authorities from either side met residents along the common border and urged them to have a harmonious relationship. They also asked them to do away with smuggling as well as drug trafficking but embrace legal economic activities for their dignified lives. Investigations into this incident have started.

"Rwandan Security forces will continue to act with the professionalism they are known for, and on which they need no lectures," reads the communiqué.