President Yoweri Museveni has ordered security agencies and Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to take action against Rwandan soldiers harassing Ugandans, and to warn people along border districts not to cross to Rwanda.
In a letter dated August 04, minister for presidency Esther Mbayo wrote to RDCs and their deputies conveying Museveni’s order to them to “inform Ugandans of the criminal Rwandan policy of shooting Ugandans that are not armed, although what they are doing is illegal.”
There have been reports of the killing of Ugandans over allegations of smuggling. For example, weeks ago, Rwandan soldiers shot dead Sydney Muhereza in Burera District for smuggling match boxes.
Others have been kidnapped from the Ugandan territory and detained in Rwanda.
Border incursion by Rwandan security forces on Ugandan territory
According to Mbayo’s letter, Kampala is treating Kigali’s actions as “provocation.”
“As for the Rwandan soldiers infiltrating into Uganda to kidnap people, the concerned agencies are already briefed as to how to deal with that provocation.”
Uganda and Rwanda have had a frosty relationship in recent years, with Kigali closing its border points with Kampala. The Katuna border is still closed for over a year now.
Both countries accuse each other of facilitating rebels opposed to either government, and kidnap of nationals.
Efforts to resolve the disagreement between the two countries were interrupted by the Covid19 pandemic.
By the time of Covid19 interruption, both nations had made considerable progress in talks to iron out their differences , with Kampala releasing Rwandans detained in Uganda.
But President Paul Kagame had cautioned nationals against crossing to Uganda until the issues had been resolved. And Museveni has also issued an advisory to Ugandans to avoid going to Rwanda.