KATUNA – A Ugandan national has died and another has sustained serious injuries after the duo was attacked and beaten up on the Rwanda side of the border on Monday.
According to Kigezi region police spokesman Elly Maate, Ndabakuramye Kewozenyi, 27, and Sam Kanyesoko, 49, both residents of Rubandaga Trading Centre in Kamwezi Sub county, Rukiga district, had crossed the border on Monday at around 7:00 am and gone to Nyagatare market in Rwanda.
Maate said on their way back, they were waylaid in Rwanda near the border and seriously beaten by Rwandese nationals for unknown reasons.
“They were rushed to Kamwezi health Centre II where Ndabakuramye died instantly while Kanyesoko is receiving treatment,” he said.
He said it is not clear whether the attack was state-coordinated or was staged by criminal gangs operating on the border.
“This comes at a time when efforts for interstate border security meeting are being made to jointly fight border crimes,” Maate said.
This comes on the backdrop of strained relations between Uganda and Rwanda prompted by accusations from Kigali that its citizens were being kidnapped, detained and prosecuted by Kampala security officials.
Late last year, Kigali wrote a protest note to Kampala, questioning the Uganda authorities’ decision to arrest some of its citizens, including Rene Rutangugira, Gisele Gatsinzi and James Bayingana.
However, in March, President Museveni and his Rwanda counterpart Paul Kagame held talks and blamed the recent tensions between the two countries on lack of information sharing and cooperation among their intelligence chiefs.
Addressing a joint media briefing shortly after holding talks at State House Entebbe on Sunday, March 25, the two leaders emphasized that the reported breakdown in diplomatic relations between their countries is misconstrued and pledged to strengthen cooperation.
“There’s no fundamental conflict between Rwanda and Uganda, we don’t even have a border problem like that of Kenya. We discussed that issue (on Rwandan citizens being harassed) and the solution is close cooperation,” President Museveni said.
President Kagame said: “There are so many things said out of context; we have agreed to have institutions on both sides (Uganda and Rwanda) work together to go deep down into the matter and get the right information.”
The two leaders pledged to share information on any matters affecting their citizens.
Mr Museveni also accused his officials of not working with their Rwanda counterparts on amicably resolving some issues.
“You find a minister finds it very difficult to telephone another minister in Rwanda. I think we need a course in telephoning,” he said.
Mr Kagame said: “It is always a pleasure for me to visit Uganda. Every time we meet is an opportunity to strengthen our friendship, fraternity and its our people going to benefit on what we can do together.”
The two leaders also emphasized that the countries need each other to develop.