Rwandan citizens continue to live in fear in their own country as their government that is constitutionally supposed to protect them blatantly guns them down.
Rwandan security forces have been ruthless to its own citizens since they closed their border with Uganda late February this year and this climaxed with causing the death of its innocent citizens who have been forced to cross to welcoming Uganda for survival.
The climax of it all came in a cross border shooting incident of two male adults that included a Ugandan and Rwandan national, by Rwandan gunmen on May 24.
At around 8pm, at Hamisavu, trading center, Kiruhura village, Kasekye Parish, Kamwezi Sub County, in Rukiga District, Rwandan security pursued a Rwandan businessman, John Batista Kyerengye, now deceased, who attempted to cross into Rwanda, on a motorcycle, loaded with his merchandise, but turned back upon noticing security presence across the border.
About 80 metres into Ugandan territory in pursuit of two Rwandan security officers on a motorbike, Kyerengye was shot in the head and killed instantly by one Rwandan gunman.
The body of the deceased was on Monday handed over to the Rwandan government as witnessed by diplomats from Tanzania, the United States, France, Russia, Burundi, South Sudan, and Britain.
In a dramatic turn of events, rather than feeling apologetic for shooting their own, the Rwandan government is seemingly blaming the Ugandan government for what their national press calls “playing politics with dead bodies.”
The Rwandan government through its press is criticizing the government in Kampala for humiliating them in a “ceremony” to parade Rwanda’s dead citizen which they say crosses “the line of common decency.”
The biggest question, however, is whether killing your own citizens striving for survival is more indecent than handing over the body diplomatically.
No wonder Ugandan government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo says they have no time to waste discussing the incident.
“We are not going to waste time with Rwandans, the events will eventually prove them wrong,” Opondo said on Wednesday.
Asked if the best measure Rwandan security could do to stop the smuggling citizen was to shoot him dead, Ofwono Opondo reiterated saying, “they made their choice they should live with the consequences of the choice they made. We want to believe the choice was deliberate.”
Not long ago, Rwandan security pursued, in a similar manner, a heavily pregnant mother who collapsed dead as she attempted to cross to Uganda to look for food. A week later, they shot at another, injured him badly, but he managed to cross to Uganda where she got treatment.
Rwandan soldiers have been crossing into the Ugandan territory regularly, illegally and whereas their border remains closed, the Ugandan border remains wide open for all.
As of now, Rwandan citizens are living on tenterhooks with uncertainty lingering on who will be gunned down next by their own government as border tension between Uganda and Rwanda continues to prevail.
On February 28, 2019, Rwanda closed off its citizens and goods from crossing over to Uganda.
At first, the reason given for the border closure was that it was because of the road works which could not allow free movement of vehicles. However, as the impasse continued, with Uganda pestering its neighbor for a genuine reason for the border closure, Rwanda’s Foreign Minister and government spokesperson Richard Sezibera addressed a press conference in Kigali accusing the government in Kampala of harbouring Rwandan dissidents. The accusation was however vehemently denied by Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa.
Since then, Rwandan citizens who are most affected by this border closure have endured stifled trade and food shortage characterized by skyrocketing food prices prompting them to sneak into Uganda to buy food.
However, Rwandan security continues to pursue those who attempt to cross to Uganda and it has become a routine to “shoot and kill.”