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Rwanda-Uganda standoff non-issue, govt says

Foreign Affairs State minister Okello Oryem has labelled the Uganda-Rwanda standoff a non-issue while addressing the Parliamentary committee of Foreign Affairs. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem has told MPs on the committee of Foreign Affairs that the Rwanda-Uganda stand-off is not a big issue and will be resolved eventually, despite reports of Rwanda continued closure of Kaduna border.

The minister’s remarks were in response to a question raised by Mbale Municipality MP Jack Wamanga Wamai on the continued closure of the Katuna border which plays as Uganda’s main supply route to Rwanda.

However, even if the minister acknowledged that standoff with Rwanda has persisted, he, however, said the blame still lies with the government of Rwanda but Uganda has kept its arms open and continues to welcome all forms of people from Rwanda.

“The issue of Rwanda isn’t on Uganda side, our borders continue to remain open for Rwandans and Rwandese vehicles, its tourists, visitors. They are free to come to Uganda without any hindrance,” said Oryem.

He said that although all forms of people from Rwanda are free to come to Uganda because Uganda has kept its borders open and will continue as such, those that come to Uganda will have to abide by the country’s laws.

“The matters that happened between the two countries is a matter that will be resolved eventually and urge everybody to be patient,” said the Minister.

Last month, Uganda’s Government was taken aback when it woke up to the news of the closure of the Katuna border by Rwanda, with the Paul Kagame administration barring trucks loaded with Uganda merchandise from entering Rwanda a decision that saw Ugandan traders count losses.

The relations between the two nations hit rock bottom after accusations by Rwanda that Uganda was shielding Rwandan nationals who are working to overthrow the Kagame led administration and targeting Rwandan nationals working within Uganda.

Uganda has, on the other hand, denied all allegations labelled against it and defended the decision to deport and jail Rwandan nationals accusing them of tampering with the country’s security.

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