Uganda hands over 15 Rwandans including 2 responsible of 2019 Kinigi attack

By IGIHE
On 19 February 2020 at 06:11

At around 3 am on Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, 13 Rwandans who were imprisoned in Uganda crossed to Rwanda from Kagitumba border along two others who admitted having been part of a group of unknown assailants equipped with knives, machetes and guns who attacked a village in Kinigi sector, Musanze district in 2019. They were handed over to Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration by Mwesigye Marcellino, Uganda Acting Commissioner Legal and Inspection Services, Marcellino Mwesigye.

Mwesigye said that among the 15 Rwandans who were handed over, 13 were released on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 and checked into the embassy of Rwanda in Uganda as it was agreed during the third Ad Hoc Commission between Rwanda and Uganda which was held on February 14th, 2020.

“Some of the Rwandans we released were accused of destabilizing the security of Uganda and illegally entering Ugandan territory but they have been acquitted of their crimes. As announced in a press conference, 13 Rwandans were set free but our courts were still investigating 2 Rwandans although they were set free as well. In total, we handed over 15 individuals.”

Munezero Daniel who was held in Uganda originates from Nyagatare district but lived in Kicukiro district. He said that he frequently traveled to Uganda as his brother studies and stays there and that he would go for a short visit and come back to Rwanda. He was apprehended as he was applying for a longer stay in Uganda at Interpol Uganda offices.

“When I got to Interpol, they asked me to bring identification papers from the embassy of Rwanda. I obtained them and gave them to officers at the Interpol. They told me to sit and wait but a few minutes later, three people dressed casually came in and ordered me to follow them saying they would give me back my papers.”

Munezero thought it was habitual checkup protocol but as he followed the three men, he found himself in the middle of a group of 10 more people and a white van was parked there.

“They told me to move closer to the vehicle but when they opened it, I saw firearms. I panicked a lot and I heard one guy from the group tell to the other to bring handcuffs. They handcuffed me and took me with them.”

He was never informed of the crimes he was being accused of. They put a hood over his head and led his to a place he didn’t identify, ordered him to remove his shoes and made him concede to a verbal agreement.

“At night, they brought me to a small house with a toilet and handcuffed me to a pole in there. I spent all my detention period handcuffed to that pole.”

Due to spending days sitting in one spot, he had very painful spasms in his ribs and his knee caps were severely injured because of kneeling for a very long period.

“In the morning, they would come to the small room, cuff my other hand or leave both of my hands cuffed to the pole.”

During all those days, he never saw light but they would often send him to clean their restrooms. He would go limping, finish the chore and they would take him back to the small room.

“I suffered so much but I ended up accepting my fate and told God ‘if this is my ending, then so be it.’”

After he was released, Munezero said he has wrapped his mind around the fact that he is finally free. He thanked the Government of Rwanda for rescuing them.

Among the released Rwandans, two including Sous Lieutenant Selemani Kabayija and Private Fidèle Nzabonimpa of RUD Urunana admitted they were among the group of assailants who attacked a village in Kinigi in 2019 and that they fled back to Uganda.

The attack in Kinigi was planned and executed by RUD Urunana, an armed group which operates in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo on October 3rd and 4th, 2019. The attack claimed the lives of 14 Rwandan citizens but security authorities managed to fight back and killed 19 of the assailants.

On Monday, February 17th, 2020, Makindye Military Court in Uganda acquitted two Rwandans and sent them back to Rwanda after dropping all charges against them including illegal possession of firearms.

“The two individuals were apprehended by Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) after the attack in Kinigi.”

During the third Ad Hoc Commission between Rwanda and Uganda last week, State Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe Olivier called upon Uganda to stop all support to anti-Rwanda armed groups and other groups aiming at destabilizing security in Rwanda.

He said that Capt. Nshimiye who goes by the alias ‘Gavana’ led the armed group which attacked a village in Kinigi on October 3rd and 4th, 2019. Nduhungirehe said that he is still under Uganda’s protection and continues to conspire against Rwanda along Philemon Mateke, Minister of State for Regional Affairs in the Ugandan Cabinet.

“He continues to roam freely in Kyangwali Camp where most families of militia members live and frequently travels to Kisoro to visit his wife or meet with Minister Mateke who gives him orders.”

“It is the same case with Nzabonimana Fidele, Kabayiza Seleman and Mugwaneza Eric from RUD Urunana who planned the Kinigi attack but managed to escape and find refuge in the arms of the Ugandan government in October 2019. The government of Uganda stands between those criminals and justice.”

It is expected that if Uganda hands over to Rwanda the masterminds behind Kinigi attack, they will be tried along the two others who were handed over to Rwanda today.

At around 3 am on Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, 13 Rwandans who were imprisoned in Uganda crossed to Rwanda from Kagitumba border
They were handed over to Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration by Uganda Acting Commissioner Legal and Inspection Services, Marcellino Mwesigye.
Mwesigye said that among the 15 Rwandans who were handed over, 13 were released and checked into the embassy of Rwanda in Uganda as it was agreed during the third Ad Hoc Commission between Rwanda and Uganda
It is expected that if Uganda hands over to Rwanda the masterminds behind Kinigi attack, they will be tried along the two others who were handed over to Rwanda today.

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