Uganda protested to Rwanda over the killing of two of its nationals by Rwandan security personnel and demanded they be punished in a further sign of fraying relations between the neighbouring states.
The Ugandans were shot dead on Sunday after being intercepted by Rwandan police while smuggling goods over the border with Uganda, a Rwandan police statement said.
In a statement, the Ugandan government accused Rwanda security personnel of reckless behaviour.
“The government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the murder of its nationals by Rwandan security personnel,” it said. “The alleged crime (smuggling) cannot justify this high handed and criminal act by Rwandan security personnel.”
A Rwandan government statement said the Ugandans entered Rwanda illegally on a smuggling run and assaulted police officers.
Relations between Uganda and Rwanda turned frosty early this year after Rwanda closed its border, accusing Kampala of backing rebels trying to topple President Paul Kagame. Rwanda ordered its nationals not to travel to Uganda and barred imports of Ugandan goods.
In August Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a deal to mend ties, vowing to respect each other’s sovereignty and refrain from destabilising actions.
Little has changed and shooting incidents associated with smuggling increase.
Analysts fear an escalation of tensions could see proxy wars in the jungles of eastern Congo resumed, further destabilising an already volatile region.