UPDF soldier arrested over shooting Congolese national in Kasese

Kasese, (UG): Security authorities in Kasese District, southwestern Uganda are actively investigating circumstances under which a UPDF soldier shot and injured a Congolese national after he suspected the victim of illegally crossing into Uganda through a porous border.

The shooting occurred on Monday, September 11, at Kisolholho Village, Karambi Sub County in Kasese District, with the victim identified as Majwar Muhindo Kibwana, a 26-year-old originally from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to the Kasese Deputy Resident District Commissioner in charge of Bukonzo County, Lt Maate Magwara, the unnamed UPDF soldier who is attached to the 5th Battalion Rusese has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

Lt Magara says the victim was reportedly crossing the border frequently due to the shared ethnicity of the communities on both sides of the Uganda-DR Congo border and has been working as a casual labourer on the Ugandan side at the Mpondwe customs in Bwera, where he loads and offloads items from vehicles.

“You know the [ethnic] community is the same both in Uganda and the DR Congo, so there is frequent cross-border movement. However, this one [Kibwana] crossed at an unauthorized point, and when he saw the soldier he ran away,” said Lt Magwara.

The Deputy RDC further explained that when the UPDF soldier encountered Kibwana crossing at an unauthorized point, he attempted to flee which prompted his pursuit and was eventually shot in the hip.

Lt Magwara, however, questioned why the soldier used such excessive force when he could have apprehended Kibwana peacefully, especially since he had located him at a residence.

“When approached by a security officer, it’s crucial to comply and cooperate. This is not the right time to send signals that could be misconstrued by our security personnel. I also urge all residents of Kasese to maintain vigilance and promptly report any suspicious individuals in our villages,” he said.

Kibwana is currently admitted to Kagando Hospital, where he is receiving medical attention.

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