Rwanda officials on Sunday released a UPDF soldier who had earlier been arrested in the country by Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF).
According to RDF, the soldier identified as Pte Bakuru Muhumba was arrested on Saturday in possession of arms by RDF Day patrol in Cyanika Sector, Burera district in the Northern Province.
Bakuru is said to have been left behind by his group of soldiers while on routine patrol on the border point, only to be abducted by RDF soldiers.
“On 12 June 21, at approximately 1445hrs, an RDF Day patrol intercepted a Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldier identified as Pte Bakuru MUHUBA who was on Rwandan soil in Northern Province, Burera District, Cyanika sector, Kamanyana cell, Majyambere village,”- RDF said in statement.
“He was dressed in UPDF camouflage uniform, armed with a Medium Machine Gun (MMG) with its 100 rounds, 01 Binocular, 01 cell phone and his military Identification documents. RDF is in the process of repatriating him,” the short statement further reads.
Fortunately, the soldier attached to 35th battalion in Kisoro was handed over to Uganda at Cyanika border post on Sunday, 13th June 2021 in a ceremony attended by Cpt Peter Mugisha, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Kisoro district and RDF officials.
Bakuru’s confiscated items, including weapon and other personal items were also handed over to the Ugandan officials.
The development comes at a time as the two countries push to end the protracted dispute that has lasted for more than three years now.
Uganda and Rwanda have since 2017 had bad bilateral relations with both countries accusing the other of supporting rebels to destabilize peace in both countries. There have also between counter accusations of abductions of each other’s citizens.
Despite meetings by the two countries’ leaders and the signing of the memorandum of understanding signed in Angola in 2019, efforts to end the spat between the neighboring countries seem to have yielded not much.