Double Murder: Uganda Writes Protest Note to Rwanda Condemning Violation of Territorial Integrity


Uganda's President Museveni (L) listens to Rwandan President Kagame while they attended the Presidential inauguration in South Africa on Saturday.
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The Ugandan government has issued a protest note to the government of Rwanda raising “serious concerns” over the incident in Rukiga district on Friday during which a Ugandan national was shot and killed by Rwandan soldiers who had crossed more than 50 meters into Ugandan territory.

Kampala has written to the Kigali administration protesting the violation of Uganda’s territorial integrity. The government of Uganda is demanding that action be taken by Rwanda to penalize those behind the killing.

On Friday night, a Ugandan identified as Nyesiga Alex was shot and killed by Rwandan soldiers in Rukiga district, Southwestern Uganda.

Police said in a statement earlier on Saturday that Nyesiga’s death followed an incident in which the same soldiers (Rwandan) chased and killed instantly a Rwandan national who had crossed into Uganda.

The Rwandan citizen identified as Kyerengye John Batista was a businessman who attempted to cross into Rwanda on a a motorcycle loaded with his merchandise but turned back upon noticing security presence across the border.

Sources told this news website that it is possible that Nyesiga witnessed the shooting of Kyerengye and as a result, the Rwandan operatives chose to eliminate him.

After the double murder, the Rwandan soldiers are said to have immediately withdrawn after failed attempts to remove the body of the Rwandan victim, the Uganda Police said.

Now, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda has written a note verbale to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Rwanda bring to its attention “the serious concern of the Government of the Republic of Uganda regarding an incident of murder that occurred on Ugandan territory”.

The Ugandan government has said it is ready to hand over the body of the deceased Rwandan national on Monday May 27 at Katuna border.

“The Government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the violation of its territorial integrity by Rwandan soldiers and the criminal, brutal and violent act by the Rwandan soldiers on Ugandan territory against unarmed civilians,” the May 25 protest note a copy of which SoftPower News has obtained, reads in part.

The Ugandan government is demanding that action be taken against the perpetrators of this attack.

Uganda has also “strongly urged” the government of Rwanda “to take appropriate measures to avoid recurrence of such provocative incidents in the future”.

This latest incident is likely to further escalate the tension that already exists between Uganda and Rwanda, largely pertaining to issues of security. Rwanda accuses Uganda of illegally arresting and harassing Rwandan nationals in Uganda, allegations that Kampala has repeatedly denied.

On its part, Uganda accuses Rwanda of speaking its agents into Uganda to carry out abductions and killings in disregard of international laws.

It should be recalled that in March this year, Police in Rwanda shot a male Rwandan citizen as he attempted to cross into Uganda at the Katuna border post.

The incident occurred at Rushaki B Cell, Nyinamuronzi ward in Katuna town council. The victim, Nadayimana Innocent, was shot in the right arm by officers of Rwandan Police unit, Interforce.

It followed a decision by government in Rwanda nationals placing Rwandan nationals under restrictions not to cross into Uganda.

This month, in a brief to the diplomatic corps in Uganda on the status of the Uganda – Rwanda relations, Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa said Uganda was focused on securing Ugandans’ security.

Kutesa said that in as much as Rwandans are welcome to visit Uganda, they are required to abide by the laws of the land. Anyone who breaks the law will be dealt with in accordance with the law, the Minister said.

The Minister said a number of security operatives have been entering Uganda without following laid down procedures that govern the entry of security personnel into the country. In such cases, he said, a number of those apprehended have been deported back to Rwanda.

In February this year, Rwanda closed its main border with Uganda at Katuna claiming there were ongoing physical works on the road. However it later turned out the actual reason for the closure which resulted into a customs crisis for weeks, was political and related to the allegations Rwanda has against Uganda.

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