The Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera has underscored that the country has closed none of its borders and that it has not deployed any further troops alongside Rwanda-Uganda border.
In the press conference he held in Kigali on this Tuesaday, Dr. Sezibera proved that, as it’s known, both countries’ bilateral relationship is not tied and that it’s due to three key problems he mentioned. At this juncture, he says Rwanda advices its citizens not to go in Uganda until they are sorted out.
“No further deployment of troops alongside the border… No. And if so, it shouldn’t be a problem because Rwanda has rights to deploy troops whenever it wants in the country. But there are no reasons for the deployment right now. These are roomers.” Added the Minister.
He said all Rwanda to Uganda boarders are open except Gatuna One Border Post which is as yet under renovation.
He revealed that the renovation will end in May. The heavy tracks should use Kagitumba and Cyanika border while it’s possible for small ones to use Gatuna.
Sezibera shed more light upon the problems that have worsened the relation:“There is the problem of Rwandans who are arrested, tortured and imprisoned in unknown custodies in Uganda.
We have had over 190 arrested in this way. Others are deported half-dead. They are separated with their families and leave their businesses there. That’s why we advise Rwandans not to go in Uganda until the problems are sorted out.”
The second problem is that Uganda is now a home for people who want to destabilize the security of Rwanda and that they do collaborate with some Ugandan officials.
The third problem is all about Rwandan traders whose commodities are held and embargoed in Uganda.
“As the matter of fact, Rwanda’s milk cannot be exported to or through Uganda. There are even some minerals embargoed for unmentioned reasons but they were released after sometime.” He said.
He pinpointed that the discussions between the two countries are underway and that Rwanda is keen to sort out the problems.
Last year, Uganda exported to Rwanda commodities costing over $179 million while the latter exported to Uganda commodities costing $20 million.
Uganda’s allegations against Rwanda
Uganda’s Minister for Regional Affairs, Philemon Mateke, told Daily Monitor that Uganda is considering petitioning the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania, to challenge what it perceives as Rwanda’s economic sabotage in breach of the regional bloc’s guidelines concerning cross border trade
He said the conflicts were worsened by the border issue but, hinging on the ongoing discussions with the Rwandan neighbors, said they are due to be solved soon.
In the light of the discussions, the Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda also said the country is privileged to put an end to the strife but also cited that it’s the border problem that came to be salt in the sauce.