Log in
Free: The Observer Mobile App - Exclusive Content and Services

UK envoy calls for dialogue between Uganda and Rwanda

Earlier, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Uganda President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda

Earlier, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Uganda President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda

The British high commissioner to Uganda Peter West has advised Uganda and Rwanda to resolve the current standoff between the two countries through dialogue.  

The tension between Uganda and Rwanda has been growing in the recent past and climaxed with the closure of the Gatuna and Chanika borders by the Rwandan authorities last week on Wednesday. At the time of the closure, the Rwanda Revenue Authority said the move was to pave way for the upgrading of the one stop border post at Gatuna.   

But while debate raged over the sudden decision, Rwanda cautioned its nationals against travelling to Uganda. Rwandan ministers accused Uganda of illegally detaining their nationals, enforcing the deportation of hundreds and denying others entry.   

Olivier Nduhungirehe Rwanda's state minister in charge of East African Community said that there are more than 40 Rwandan citizens languishing in cells controlled by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).   

Similarly, Richard Sezibera, the Rwandan minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation also said that Rwandans are strongly advised not to travel to Uganda due to ongoing arrests, harassment and torture and incarceration without consular access.   

Uganda has however refuted the allegations saying the Rwandans under arrest are criminals just like others, arguing that no Rwandan has been targeted. Today, buses travelling from Kigali reported that they had been stopped from carrying Rwandan nationals from Kigali to Uganda. Those found with Rwandan nationals aboard were fined up to $5,000 (about Shs 18m). Rwanda also doubled the amount of tax levied on Ugandan trucks from RF 200,000 (about Shs 860,000) to RF 400,000 (Shs 1.7m). 

Earlier today, heavily armed Rwandan security forces could be seen patrolling along the border lines and hills near Uganda. Uganda government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said Rwanda was free to deploy when and as they wish within their borders, so long as it doesn't signal of provocation. 

Rwanda’s army spokesperson Innocent Munyengango told RFI that he had “no comment” on reports that Rwanda had deployed along Rwanda-Uganda border.

In the wake of the events, West says Rwanda and Uganda need to amicably resolve the matters that could have triggered animosity between the two neighbouring countries. West made the statement in an interview with URN on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Youth Conference held in Kampala today.     

“I think the best thing is a dialogue between the two countries. Resolving it in a bilateral way is probably the answer for that,” West said. 

Meanwhile, despite the fact that Rwanda has told its citizens not to go to Uganda over the allegations of deportation and arrest of Rwandans, Rwandan delegates are among those attending the Commonwealth Youth Conference on inclusion at the parliament of Uganda. The three delegates are part of the youth from 15 African countries. 

Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson says Uganda welcomes and is conducive and secure to every Rwandan who is in Uganda and intends to come.

Comments

0 #1 kabayekka 2019-03-05 15:08
The country of Rwanda as any one can see is an African country that seems to want everything but nothing in this world after a war of its civilian slaughter on a massive scale on the continent of Africa.

No African country on this continent wants to load itself with military weapons and start to sort out itself out or to start to sort out other African neighboring countries.

And if it is the British and the French trying to encourage these two long serving African dictatorship to go on playing colonial games left, right and center so that African lives are lost to misery, it is a very unfortunate modern situation.
Report to administrator
0 #2 kabayekka 2019-03-05 15:20
President Kagame knows well that he is the rebel in disguise who went into the armory of Uganda and stole military equipment to go to Rwanda and cause a horrendous war on the Great Lakes Region.

If he is surrounded with rebels of his own kind or making, he has no right to antagonize the people of Uganda who are suffering the same with a government he helped to bring into power in Uganda.

For Britain, and Europe, modern democracy means majority rule as this majority respects the minority. It must be the same in all the countries of Africa that respect the rule of law and human rights.
Report to administrator
0 #3 Akot 2019-03-05 18:47
British high commissioner's intentions are diplomatic, but Kagame & Museveni have long time tribal grudges to settle & the reason they can't live in Rwanda is because they can't share power in their motherland!

Rwandese tribalism/intolerance of themselves made them leave their country for Uganda-Tanzania-DRCongo... after independences of the neighbouring countries.

Museveni is assured of continuity in Uganda & made it clear he wants to control not only Uganda, but East Africa & African Union as well!

Kagame is making it clear he is the boss in Rwanda!

Power hungry Kagame & Museveni have been causing chaos in the region for so long, including getting rid of Juvénal Habyarimana in 1994.

If Congolese had not woken up, Kagame/Museveni would still be keeping the war there alive!

Kagame is sole boss in Rwanda & will control its borders as he wishes, like Brexit!
Report to administrator
0 #4 Akot 2019-03-05 19:03
[Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson says Uganda welcomes and is conducive and secure to every Rwandan who is in Uganda and intends to come.]

Agreed, as,

Rwandese Museveni is the most well comed, most well taken care of in Uganda who controls parliament, tax money, allows no opposition from Ugandans!

So, this is fight between Kagame & Museveni & Ugandans are the unfortunate migrants caught in their show of power!

But, Kagame has upper hand as it's him controlling their motherland while Museveni still has to complete conquest of Uganda, which shouldn't be long now as it's Ugandans handing over their country to him in peace & with respect!
Report to administrator
0 #5 kabayekka 2019-03-06 08:47
Mr Kagame has been told many times without listening that he has got to talk well and to agree to the presence of his fellow tribesmen and tribeswomen who have African Hutu ethnicity.

One understands that in this country, the majority African peoples are Hutu and if there is proper free and fair democratic elections in this country, President Kagame would not be ruling that country with an iron fist.
Report to administrator
0 #6 Lakwena 2019-03-06 08:52
It never fails, friendship built around wrongdoing will always backfire. E.g. drug dealers and bank robbers relationships always end up in nasty and bloody encounter.

In other words, I have no kind words for Mr. Kagame and Mr. M7, because these guys have caused the greatest misery in the Great Lake Region.

To say the least, they are squarely responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, reverse genocide in Eastern DR Congo, and the Mobutu and Laurent Kabila debacles.

Instead of involving the citizens of Uganda and Rwanda in their selfish hate and war monger, I wish they are locked up in a room, given a knife and a bullet each in their guns so that they can slaughter each other.

Eish!
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry