Three Rwandans in narrow escape from Kalashnikov-wielding Ugandan operatives

By Alex Muhumuza

Three Rwandans narrowly escaped Uganda in the evening of Saturday, 10th February 2019 following a frightening incident involving two unidentified Ugandans who they say, “were in a Ugandan vehicle with dark-tinted glasses, and were armed with a submachine gun”.

According to the Rwandans, Habimana Juvenal, 31, Nduwamungu Felix, 52, and Bizimana Cyprien, 36, all three of them from Musanze District, they were travelling in their Fuso truck, registration number RAB 655H when the incident happened – around 40 minutes past 3, Ugandan time. The two men, with a gun but in civilian attire, stopped them and demanded to see their papers. These Rwandans say they are traders who normally buy wood from Uganda and bring it to Rwanda, a business they say they have been doing since 2017.

They narrate that the two men after taking their papers, told them to follow them. Habimana, Nduwamungu and Bizimana say that they pleaded with the men and asked them to let them proceed on their way, but the men were adamant that the Rwandans follow them. They did so, up to the Rubanda District Police where the two operatives proceeded to talk to the DPC (District Police Commander).

They narrate that they have been hearing stories of abuse of Rwandans which had them convinced they would not survive this place. They say they were sure there was a plot to kill them. So they immediately decided to dash for the forests, on foot, leaving their truck behind. They walked through the night until they came to the Cyanika Border Post in Rwanda.

According to our sources, the men are at Cyanika where they are appealing for assistance to get their truck back, as well as their papers and documents. The latest information we have is that Rwanda Revenue Authority was trying to talk to its Ugandan counterpart, but up to now no progress has been made.

The plight of the three Rwandans is only the latest incident of a pattern of illegal arrests, abductions or intimidation of Rwandan nationals by Ugandan security services. For the past few weeks there has been an escalation of incidents whereby Rwandans that have been illegally detained only to be dumped at the border posts by Ugandan authorities. It has become a daily occurence.

Virunga Post has been bringing you details and updates of these incidents in which even old men and mothers, some with children of a few months, have been abducted, jailed and tortured. This website is gathering more information on the matter and will keep its readers updated about these developments shortly.