Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) the leading opposition party in the country has raised concern over the unending disagreements between Uganda and her neighbor Rwanda which is immensely costing both countries including loss of life and property.
Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, the party deputy Spokesperson, John Kikonyogo said that it is unfortunate that the countries have since failed to resolve their differences despite a number of engagements.
“After signing the MOU in Angola, we thought there would be some semblance of peace, this was followed by a bilateral meeting in Kigali between the two countries with a follow up meeting that was meant to take place in Kampala but has since been cancelled. As a result, we saw two Ugandans shot in Rwanda,” Kikonyogo said.
Kikonyogo said the FDC is worried that there seems to be something big that the two countries are hiding and probably the bilateral meetings they are conducting are only a make-up of an ugly situation ahead.
“We need an immediate explanation of what is happening such that as Ugandans, we can jointly contribute on solving the crisis,” Kikonyogo said.
Rwanda’s leadership has continuously accused Uganda government of supporting rebel groups opposed to President Paul Kagame, allegations that Kampala has repeatedly denied.
Uganda accuses Rwanda of instigating criminal and subversive activities including murders and illegal repatriation of refugees. It is for these reasons that Kampala says some of the Rwandan nationals have been arrested and others deported.
Rwanda closed its main border with Uganda in February this year causing a trade paralysis. Kigali also advised its nationals against traveling to Uganda claiming this was a preventative measure against illegal arrests.
Last week, the Ugandan government wrote a protest note to Rwanda raising concerns over the continued killing of Ugandans and Rwandans along the shared border by Rwanda’s security.
It followed the shooting of two Ugandans Byarushanga Job and Tuhirirwe Bosco by Rwanda’s security personnel days ago at the Uganda-Rwanda border.
Uganda government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo said “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 protest was delivered to Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Maj Gen Frank Mugambage, by Ambassador Patrick Mugoya – the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uganda.
“The alleged crime cannot justify the high handed and criminal act by the Rwandan security personnel, against unarmed civilians residing along the common border,” the protest note added.
On Tuesday, the two bodies were handed over to the Ugandan authorities and Kigezi region police spokesperson, Elly Matte said that on re-examination of the bodies after receiving them, it was established that the shooting was done at short range with intent to kill.
“On receipt of the bodies and on re-examining them by the Regional Police surgeon, Ebyarishanga Job had been shot in the chest and head and Tuhirwe John Bosco in the chest and ribs,” read Matte’s statement in parts.
He said both shootings were done at short range meant to kill in execution style by a gun most likely a pistol.
As such, Kampala says that the 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,” Opondo said.
A number of commentators have since regarded as unconvincing a narrative by Rwandan police of unarmed individual turning violent and assaulted the armed security personnel.
The government spokesperson also raised concerns of other shootings by the Rwandan security which have happened in the recent weeks and months including an incident in which a Rwandan national was shot and severely wounded on Rwandan territory, while returning from Uganda territory and was forced to flee back to Uganda.