A Rwandan national identified as Janvier Nsanzimana, 21, has lost his life and his older brother Jean d'Amour Rwabayeho narrowly escaped death after assailants attacked them in Kyenjojo District, Western Uganda.
Nsanzimana and Rwabayeho who have been conducting their affairs in the area for the past six months were set upon, in an increasingly hostile environment for Rwandan nationals living in the neighbouring country.
According to information reaching The New Times, in the night of Monday this week, men with machetes attacked the brothers in the trading centre of Bugaki in Kyenjojo.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to this newspaper said the brothers were only minding their own business when they were suddenly attacked by machete-wielding men.
In the ensuing scuffle as the two Rwandans tried to defend themselves, Nsanzimana was cut down with a machete and died on the spot.
Rwabayeho managed to flee, but he too was badly injured.
He sustained a cut in the head and suffering a broken arm, according Bernard Sebahutu, the grieving father to the duo, who is a resident of Burera District in Northern Province.
Bernard Sebahutu, the father of the two victims of the attack in Uganda.
The father, who talked in a choking voice during the interview, said that after the incident, Uganda Police was pushing to hastily bury Nsanzimana, “yet there had been no investigation, why?” he questioned.
He said that the information he has is that even Rwabayeho - the surviving brother - was protesting the burial of his brother before any investigation had been carried out.
But strangely, the Ugandan authorities yesterday, 30 July, buried the body, against the wishes of the family.
The whole incident raises suspicion.
Ever since President Museveni decided to back, sponsor and facilitate groups bent on destabilizing Rwanda, most notably Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, and the FDLR genocidal forces, life has become very difficult for Rwandan citizens travelling to Uganda or those already resident there.
There have been the endless stories of Rwandan civilians abducted and illegally detained, most times in unknown places.
Rwandan authorities estimate that over a thousand of its nationals are illegally incarcerated in different prisons in the neighbouring country, as well as in ungazetted houses of detention – the so-called safe houses.
Much of the time, Uganda locks these people up – in complete violation of EAC laws that provide for the free movement of nationals of member states to other member states – on accusations of “illegal entry” or “espionage”.
In all the cases, there never is a proper legal process before arrests – no warrants, nor court processes.
Rwandan authorities were left with no option and at the beginning of March this year issued a strong warning against people going to Uganda, as their safety and security couldn’t be guaranteed.
Nsanzimana and Rwabayeho are not the first Rwandans to be attacked violently and in suspicious circumstances ever since President Museveni adopted his policy of working with RNC.
On July 6, Faustin Niyonzima, 30, was found brutally murdered in Mugwata Village, near Kisoro. Niyonzima’s body was found mutilated.
A bit earlier, in April, one Theogene Dusengimana was murdered, in similar circumstances in Kabarore District.
According to knowledgeable sources, the Rwandans that turn up dead in circumstances like these usually are people that have been approached by recruiters of RNC.
It is public knowledge that Uganda is a principle recruiting ground for fighters for Nyamwasa’s group.
However the recruitment is rarely voluntary.
One of the methods is to intimidate, harass and torture those Rwandans they abduct, more specifically the young or able bodied, hoping some would break and agree to join RNC rather than endure the torture.
According to reports, they have had very little success with that method. Most Rwandans see no reason they should turn against their country, and would rather die than do so.
According to a UN report of 31 December last year, a favorite recruitment method is luring youths from refugee camps heavilypopulated by Rwandans.
They deceive them that they will find jobs for them, or that they would procure for them visas to go to Western countries – then afterwards agencies like CMI, Ugandan military intelligence provide them with the papers to cross borders to join RNC training camps in Minembwe, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The whole world saw such an incident in December 2017 when 46 RNC recruits were intercepted at the border between Uganda and Tanzania at Kikagati.
CMI working hand in hand with RNC agents however have been very active in many other ways in hunting for recruits.
One way is to move into places – mainly western Uganda – with sizable Kinyarwanda speaking communities, and knock on doors.
They identify those households that have able-bodied young men, then tell them “it is time to join RNC”, with much attempts at brainwashing them.
Among the ones that aren’t young, the CMI and RNC agents identify those that appear well off – such as traders, businessmen or big farmers – and attempt to recruit them to be contributors of funds for RNC.
Most times the Banyarwanda communities tell these agents that they have no interest in fighting Rwanda, a government they see doing a lot of good for its people.
According to reports, the recruiting agents walk away swearing that “bad things will happen” to these “stubborn people!"
"That is how a lot of people that refused to be recruited into RNC activities have ended up suffering in Ugandan prisons," said a Rwandan border security official on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t speaking in an official capacity.
Others haven’t been so fortunate (to only suffer prison mistreatment).
A good number have been brutally murdered, in crimes that the security authorities never investigated.
The same is what happened to the late Nsanzimana, and his brother Rwabayeho who is recovering from serious injuries.