The Ugandan government has officially written a protest note to Rwanda over the two Ugandans who were over the weekend shot dead by Rwandan security forces inside their country.
Two Ugandans were on Saturday night shot dead inside Rwanda, one kilometer away from the Mpororo border post for allegedly smuggling tobacco.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening, by the government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, the Ugandan government represented by the Permanent Secretary for the Foreign Affairs Ministry , Ambassador Patrick Mugoya delivered a protest note to the Rwandan High Commissioner in Uganda, Maj.Gen.Frank Mugambage.
“The Government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the murder of its nationals by Rwandan security personnel for allegedly being involved in smuggling of goods across the common border. The alleged crime cannot justify the high handed and criminal act by the Rwandan security personnel, against unarmed civilians residing along the common border,”Opondo said in a statement.
“Furthermore, the Ministry notes that these murders are inimical to the ongoing efforts to improve relations between the two countries. The Ministry demands that a joint investigation in the murders be conducted and the perpetrators held accountable.”
According to the Uganda Media Centre Executive Director , government also expressed concern over the manner in which a Rwandan national was shot at and severely wounded on Rwandan territory while returning from Uganda and was forced to flee back to Uganda.
The Ugandan government identified the Rwandan national as one Peter Havugimana, 28 and a resident of Kabaya village, Gashari parish, Rubaya sub county in Gicumbi district in Rwanda who was last week shot in the should from about 200 metres in Rwanda on the border with Uganda.
It is said the victim was shot while carrying 10 kilograms of potatoes from Uganda into Rwanda and after the incident, he ran to Uganda for his own safety where he was rushed to Katuna Police Station and later referred to Katuna community clinic for further management.
“At the clinic, a bullet was removed from his body and the victim is now in stable condition. The government of Uganda considers the shooting incident a grave matter and that although the latest victim is Rwandan, it constitutes a pattern of reckless and high-handed acts on the part of Rwanda security personnel, against simple, ordinary people that live along the common border,”Opondo said.
He added that government is ready to hand over the victim to the Kigali establishment if he wishes to return.
The development comes barely a day after the bodies of the two Ugandans including John Bosco Tuheirwe and Job Ebyarishanga, both residents of Kamwezi Sub-county were repatriated on Tuesday afternoon to Uganda for decent burial.
The Rwanda National Police in a show of no remorsefulness early this week in a statement said the two Ugandans were killed for becoming violent and tried to fight police officers.
A number of both Ugandan and Rwandan nationals have in the past been shot dead by security agencies near the Rwandan border over alleged smuggling of goods into their territory.
In May, two people were shot dead on Ugandan soil by the Rwandan security forces over alleged smuggling of goods.
The relations between Uganda and Rwanda have in the past two years not been at their best with each of the two sister countries trading accusations against the other.
Whereas the Kigali establishment accuses Uganda of supporting forces bent on overthrowing their government and arresting their nationals, the Kampala government denies the claims and insists all those arrested were spies.
The frost relations climaxed early this year with the closure of the borders shared by the two countries but the same has hurt Rwanda most because most of the products they use were either coming from Uganda or were passing through Uganda.