Rwandan soldiers patrolling along the closed Uganda – Rwanda border have shot dead one of their own and injured another for attempting to cross back to Rwanda after buying a sack of Irish potatoes fron Uganda.
The injured Jean Piere Havugimana, 28, hails from Kabaya village, Gishara parish Rubaya Sub County, Gicumbi district in Rwanda.
He is currently admitted at Katuna Community Medical Clinic where he is being treated for shoulder injuries.
Its alleged that on the night of Sunday, November 04, at around 7:30pm while at Kabaya village about 300 meters inside Rwanda, Rwanda police shot the victim as he was found carrying about 50 kilograms of Irish potatoes, about 50 kilograms from Uganda to Rwanda.
The victim claims that he had crossed to Uganda during the day time in company of a friend identified as Mahirwe in search of Irish potatoes. In the evening hours, they decided to cross back to Rwanda through a porous border point.
It’s at that time that they were intercepted and shot at.
He escaped back to Uganda at Rushaki A village Karujanga parish Rubaya Sub County where he has relatives, who rushed him to Katuna community medical clinic where undergoing treatment.
The body of his unlucky friend was taked ny the Rwandan security operatives, he adds.
Hunger in the tiny East African country is reportedly biting many poor Rwandans most especially in the rural areas.
Since the border was closed in February, many have been arrested, detained or shot dead while attempting to cross into Uganda while reportedly escaping President Paul Kagame’s dictatorial rule and hunger.
Kigali advised its citizens never to cross to Uganda, saying Kampala was torturing her innocent citizens living in Uganda.
It was later reported that Kigali had introduced a fine of USD5,000 to anyone who was arrested while attempting to cross to Uganda or else selling Ugandan products.
However, efforts to bring calm between Kigali and Kampala have been happening. A month ago, Presidents Kagame and his Uganda counterpart Yoweri Museveni signed a pact in Angola aimed at ending months of tensions.
Angolan President Joao Lourenco along with his counterparts from Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo witnessed the event in Luanda.
In mid September, a meeting was convened in Kigali and both nations Uganda and Rwanda reportedly agreed to open borders soon.
However, there a little signs showing whether the borders will open despite the signing agreements and holding regional meetings.
In early June this year, Uganda’s East African community ministry reported that Kampala had lost more than $664 million’s worth of exports to Rwanda while Kigali had lost $104 million during the three months the Gatuna border has been closed.
Elly Maate, the Kigezi region police spokesperson has confirmed the incident.
This case has been registered at Kabale police under file number CRB 1729/2019.
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