Ugandans close Katuna border in anti-Rwanda protests

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Katuna border protest

The Uganda High Commission in Kigali says the situation at the Katuna-Gatuna Uganda – Rwanda border is back to normalcy.

The High Commission says this followed the Ugandan demonstrators having closed the border on demand for release of a Ugandan money changer held in Rwanda Kigali Police cell.

“Security Authorities from both countries have attended to the matter,” the commission said in a statement.

“Protests at Katuna-Gatuna border diffused. All border operations are back to normal,” Rwanda National Police said in a social media message.

It said Uganda Police has promised to conduct investigations on the protesters and take appropriate actions.

Chaos

Business came to a standstill on Thursday after traders staged a peaceful demonstration protesting the arrest of Justus Tweyongyeire, 50, alias Mwaanamuto.

The Mayor for Katuna town council Nelson Nshangabasheija accused Rwandan authorities of harassing Ugandan traders.

Ms Christain Mpiriirwe the wife to Tweyongyeire and his son, Mathis Tubenamukama said he was Saturday arrested by the Rwandan security officers at Katuna as he returned from Kigali where he had gone to buy US dollars for his forex exchange business.

Tweyongeire had already been cleared by Rwandan immigration but was arrested at the border and returned to Kigali for questioning.

Mpiriirwe said the Rwandan authorities have not given them the reason for her husband’s arrest.

Tweyongyeire has been working as a money changer at Katuna border town for more than 30 years.

During the demonstration, residents carried placards that displayed messages condemning the frequent arrests of their business colleagues.

They blocked the road with poles and stones before Uganda police led by the officer in charge of Katuna border station, Zadoki Kajere, intervened.

Three years ago, two business men, Everest Akandinda and Dickson Tinyinondi were murdered in Rwanda.