Two men have been shot dead by Rwandan security in the town of Rubavu, Gisenyi district after they reportedly tried to disarm soldiers on patrol along the Rwanda-DR Congo border line.
The dead have been identified as Nsanzimana David and Niyigena Kimonyi James, both from Cyanzarwe sector Gisenyi district and were reportedly coming from DR Congo.
In a meeting with locals over the incident, Lt Col Vianney Cuba, the commanding officer of the 4th Battalion deployed in the area said the two were smuggling drugs including marijuana into the country.
“These two used a route that has in the past been used by enemies of our country including FDLR to attack us. It was very hard to differentiate them from those people,” he said.
“When we stopped them, one who is a former soldier tried to disarm one of our soldiers leaving us with no choice but to shoot them.”
The District Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Development Nzabonimpa Deogratias urged locals to desist from compromising the country’s peace and security.
“Our country and all borders areas are protected by the security services; if one tries to compromise our peace and security, he or she will be dealt with like these two,” Nzabonimpa said.
Rwandan security forces have in the past been accused summarily executing petty offenders in Rwanda’s Western Province with over 37 executed in 2017.
According to human rights reports, soldiers arbitrarily arrested and shot most of the victims, in what appeared to be an officially sanctioned strategy to execute suspected thieves, smugglers, and other petty offenders, instead of prosecuting them.
Since the closer of the common border between Rwanda and Uganda by the Kigali establishment, a number of nationals of both countries have been shot dead under unclear circumstances by Rwanda security services.