Africa

Bodies of 2 Rwandans repatriated from Uganda

Matter referred for further investigation to top security organs in respective countries

Hamza Kyeyune   | 10.09.2021
Bodies of 2 Rwandans repatriated from Uganda FILE PHOTO

KAMPALA, Uganda

The bodies of two Rwandan nationals who died in Uganda under unclear circumstances were repatriated Thursday.

They were handed over by Ugandan authorities to their Rwandan counterparts at the Katuna border post in western Uganda.

Both Ugandan and Rwandan officials denied the killing of the two Rwandans by their respective governments or nationals, referring the matter for further investigation to top security organs in their respective countries.

Ugandan police said the two murder cases have been registered at Kabale police station in western Uganda.

The bodies had been kept at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital near the Uganda-Rwanda border for about one week as the Kabale District local government sought guidance from the Foreign Affairs Ministry on how to handle the matter.

“One of the bodies was found about 200 meters [656 feet] from the international boundary of Uganda and Rwanda with a deep cut wound on his head.

“There was no blood at the spot where the body was found, and we suspect that he was killed in Rwanda and his body was carried and dumped on the Ugandan side,” said a Ugandan official at the handover.

Rwandan officials said investigations carried out so far by its security agencies indicate that the deceased had been staying in Uganda for the last two years and it is where he died.

"Rwandans do not kill each other and dump bodies in Uganda,” said Felix Ndayambaje, a Rwandan official.

The second body was found lying about 70 meters (230 feet) away from the Uganda-Rwanda international boundary.

Frosty relations between the two countries became more pronounced in February 2019 when Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda and issued a travel advisory strongly warning its citizens against traveling to Uganda.

Ever since the Rwandan government stopped cross-border trade with Uganda in March 2019, around six Ugandans have been shot dead in Rwanda on claims that they were smuggling items.

Uganda accuses Rwanda of infiltrating its key security agencies, with authorities saying some Rwandan security officials had direct and indirect contact with key strategic security personnel in Uganda who have sent information outside of official channels.

Rwanda accuses Uganda of being linked to hostile groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed rebel group operating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a Rwandan opposition group.

Both countries deny the other's accusations.

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