KIGALI – The Rwanda government has denied that two civilians shot by it’s army at her eastern border, were killed on the Ugandan territory.
In a May 25 statement, both Rwanda’s ministry of Foreign Affairs and Police now claims the “incident took place in Tabagwe Cell, Tabagwe Sector, Nyagatare District, Republic of Rwanda”, though the bodies of those killed in the skirmish are in a Ugandan hospital.
John Baptist Kyerengye, a Rwandan national and Alex Nyesiga, a Ugandan, were killed in the standoff on Friday, May 24.
Uganda Police spokesperson Fred Enanga in an earlier statement said the incident that resulted into death of the two, happened after operatives from the Rwanda army pursued their countryman inside Uganda territory and shot him in the head.
But the Rwanda Foreign Affairs ministry statement, while corroborating this version of events insists the incident happened on her territory.
“…on the above named dates, Rwandan security forces intercepted a suspected smuggler on a motorcycle who had just crossed the border from Uganda at night through an ungazetted border point,” the statement says, adding that – Mr. Kyerengye, the Rwandan national suspected of smuggling “resisted arrest and was immediately joined by others who attacked the officers with machetes.”
“The officers, in self defense, fired and struck two individuals, Kyerengye John Baptist a Rwandan, and Nyesiga Alex, who later died”.
But Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also insists the incident had occurred at Kiruhura Village, Kashekye Parish, Kamwezi sub-county, Rukiga District in Uganda.
The Uganda police says the armed Rwandan soldiers then immediately withdrew, after failed attempts to remove the body of the Rwandan victim.
“The two bodies were transferred to Kamwezi Health Center IV for further post-mortem analysis,” Mr Enanga said.
Uganda has warned Rwanda against violating her territorial integrity.
In February, Rwandan authorities stopped their nationals from entering Uganda and denied cargo trucks from entering Uganda on claims that they were upgrading their one-stop border post at Gatuna though the statement later changed that Uganda was hosting Rwandan enemies.
Relations between Rwanda and Uganda have soured in recent past in the wake of a raft of grievances against the Kampala establishment, including alleged persecution and illegal arrest, torture and irregular deportation of Rwandans.
Uganda denies the charges.