Private Ronald Arinda, a Uganda People’s Défense Forces-UPDF soldier attached to the Special Forces Command (SFC) is being held in Rwanda, the army has confirmed.
Rwandan authorities arrested Arinda, 23, a resident of Kakyerere in Ryakarmira town council Kabale district in Burera district in Northern Province, a few meters away from the Uganda-Rwanda border on Saturday.
UPDF Spokesperson, Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso told URN on Tuesday that Arinda who was on official pass leave crossed to Rwanda to buy cattle at the neighboring market cheaply.
“He had crossed to Akatare ke’nte (cattle market) in Rwanda, but because, some of the Rwandan security operatives knew him, he was arrested and taken”, Byekwaso confirmed.
She explained that the matter is being handled by higher offices to secure Arinda’s release.
But Enock Kazooba, the Ryakarimira town council LC 3 chairperson, says that Arinda was arrested from Omukiyovu trading center on the Ugandan side.
Kazoba says that Rwandan security informers disguising as locals who live along borderline tricked the soldier claiming that they had some cattle they wanted to sell him.
He says that during the course of their conversation, Rwandan operatives emerged and whisked him away to Rwanda.
Rwandan nationals started smuggling cattle to Uganda in August this year despite the closure of the Uganda-Rwanda border in February 2019 on orders of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame.
Kabale district security authorities led by the Resident District Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma last month revealed that the cattle in smuggled into Uganda from Rwanda at a very cheap price.
On reaching Ugandan soil, the animals are cleared by local leaders at Shillings 50,000 and transported to the Democratic Republic of Congo through the Mpondwe border in the Kasese district. The cows go for Shillings 5 million each in DRC.