Ugandan security officials from Kanungu district have arrested a prime suspect in the killing of Tanasia Kamuswa, the Chief of Burambira in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The chief was killed on Sunday.
The arrested prime suspect has been identified as Patirisi Baribusa, a resident of Munyaga village in Butogota town council.
Baribusa had crossed to DR Congo in a company of Mathius Paluku and another he only identified as Biribaaga but also a resident of Munyaga village in Butogota town council, through a porous border to attend the funeral of their mother-in-law in Burambira village.
But in the early hours of Sunday morning at around 4:00 am, Kamuswa stormed the vigil and ordered the mourners to stop the loud music and noise, saying that they did not request permission from him. A scuffle broke out leading to a fight.
It is in this process that Baribusa, Bilibaaga, and Paluku assaulted Kamuswa to death. After Kamuswa’s death, the trio fled back to Uganda.
This angered the Congolese nationals who mobilized and crossed into Uganda to hunt the duo and avenge Kamuswa’s death. It was later on Sunday evening when police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers intervened and ordered the angry Congolese to return to their country.
John Bosco Twinomujuni, Butogota Town council LCIII Chairman told our reporter today that Baribusa was arrested on Monday evening in Butogota while hiding in the bush.
Twinomunjuni says that Paluku and Biribaaga are still on the run.
Twinomujuni says that there is calmness on both sides of the border in the two countries and as local leaders, they have already managed to recover an unspecified number of goats which angry Congolese locals had looted from Uganda’s side to slaughter at Kamuswa’s funeral as a form of revenge.
According to Twinomujuni, Kamuswa was buried on Monday afternoon and preliminary investigations from the Congo side indicate that while Baribusa picked a stick and hit Kamuswa to death during the fight, Paluku, and Biribaaga were drunk and sleeping.
Shafique Ssekandi, the Kanungu Resident District Commissioner says that Baribusa is now being held at Kanungu Police Station. Ssekandi however says that since there is no murder file against Baribusa on the Ugandan side, there are so far no plans to take him to Congo to answer the charges.
He also says that Uganda so far has no extradition treaty with Congo to extradite the suspect. Ssekandi however says that the suspect will be handed over to Congolese authorities to face the law once Congo takes all relevant procedures through inter-pol and gets cleared with the office of the Inspector General of Police since Uganda has ever used similar means to repatriate kidnap suspects from Congo.
Ssekandi also says that besides the murder case against the prime suspect and others who are still on the run, he will again be charged in the Ugandan court with illegally crossing to and from Congo with intention of spreading a dangerous disease -Covid-19.