Yesterday both Uganda and Rwanda addressed the media on the ongoing tension, accusations and counter accusations that’s continuing between the two countries as well as diminishing diplomatic relations as a result of blocked Katuna border point by Rwanda’s government.
Dr Richard Sezibera, the Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said that there are armed groups and Individuals who are opposed to Rwanda government and have carried out criminal activities in Rwanda while basing in Uganda, which is quite a big allegation.
Hon Sam Kutesa, Uganda Foreign Affairs Minister fired back at the allegation.
“It’s false that Uganda hosts any element fighting Rwanda. Rwanda knows it very well that it’s has been a matter of confidential communication at the highest level of the two countries. Uganda does not and cannot allow anyone to operate from its State territory or its neighbour as its alleged,” Kutesa strongly opposing the statement made by Rwanda’s Prime Minister.
Sezibera the Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister proceeded to say that:“Rwandese have been illegally incarcerated, tortured for reasons we don’t understand. We have people who have been incarcerated since 2017, and denied consular access. These are issues that have been discussed for over two years, we haven’t received satisfactory answers from Uganda.”
And yesterday Sezibera said about 900Rwandese are jailed here in Uganda.
Hon Kutesa, fired back at Sezibera, saying:“it’s not true that Uganda arrests, tortures, harasses Rwandans. It’s well known that government of Uganda welcomes and maintains an open door policy for people from all nations including Rwandans wishing to visit the country,” in post.
Uganda continues to be the leading refugee host country in the Africa according to reports. And Uganda’s policy requires visitors from all countries including Rwanda to observe law and order, stating that anyone who contravenes the law is acted upon accordingly.
In this regard Rwanda’s Sezibera says: “we are not interfering with Uganda’s policies but we want things to be done when they should be done according to international procedures. And we have advised our Nationals not to travel to Uganda until these issues are addressed for their own security.”
However, Uganda says the allegations causing the impasse on the two border points are directly affecting Uganda’s economic and social development.
“It’s therefore unfortunate that the movement of goods and people across our common borders of Uganda and Rwanda have been restricted. This harms our economies and social interaction and also threaten our integrity, integration efforts under the East African Community which we have all worked out to be.”
Kutesa said Uganda is committed to addressing any trade related issues concerning Uganda.
“Because we are convinced that doing so strengthens our regional integration, and also helps us integrate so faster into a global economy.”
H.E Peter West British High Commissioner to Uganda, in an interview about that in the URA on the side-line of the common Wealth Youth Conference held in Kampala yesterday 5 of March 2019, said that:“I think the best thing is a dialogue between the two countries resolving into a bilateral way, is probably the answer of that.”
This follows the border stand-off between Rwanda and Uganda. Coming at a time when Ugandan government is finally responding to these allegations that have been made by the Rwandans Foreign Affairs Minister, Richard Sezibera.
We will keep you posted