KAMPALA – A day after calling Rwanda “our sister”, Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa has sent a briefing to all foreign envoys in Kampala, detailing the diplomatic situation between Kigali and Kampala.
In the four-page document, Minister Kutesa denies as “totally false”, the position by Kigali that Ugandan intelligence is arresting and torturing Rwandans.
“Rwanda has alleged illegal arrest, torture, and harassment of Rwandans in Uganda, this is totally false. Rwandans are welcome to visit Uganda,” he noted assuring diplomats that Uganda cannot allow its territory to be used to threaten the security of a neighboring country.
He explained the Rwandans are arrested in Uganda are criminals including security operatives entering the country without following laid in procedures governing the entry of security personnel in the country.
He admitted that “a number of these when apprehended have been deported back to Rwanda”
“We are convinced the current hitch in the state of our bilateral relations will be resolved,” he assured diplomats, warning Rwandan officials including foreign minister to desist from fueling the impasse.
The new element in the briefing is where Kutesa says Uganda is “working tirelessly behind the scenes” to restore relations with Rwanda.
He says he attended events in Kigali marking the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, as part of the push.
Mr. Kutesa adds Uganda will continue to “address any issues raised by Rwanda”, but only through diplomatic channels, and “not the press”.
He, however, accused Rwanda of launching a media campaign against Uganda.
He said Rwandan media houses resorted to publishing stories causing anxiety among the population, including lies that Uganda tortures and deport her neighbour’s citizen.
Noting that Uganda has been a target and victim of terrorist attacks including assassinations of Moslem Sheiks and senior government officials, the Minister said Uganda takes seriously its duty and obligation to protect the security of its citizens and its borders.
“Any local or foreign threats will continue to be dealt with decisively whenever and whenever they occur.”