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Border closure is backwardness move! Otafiire blasts Rwanda at Pan African Day

Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire has blasted Rwanda for closing its borders to her neighbours good. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA/KIGALI – Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister and Chairman of the Global Pan African Movement (PAM) Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire has taken a swipe at Rwanda for closing its borders to “her neighbours” and labelled the act a “backwardness move”.

Mr. Otafiire issued the highly critical statement at the PAM headquarters in  Kampala, at the same time as another PAM conference is taking place in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

In the statement, Gen. Otafiire, who is not attending the Kigali conference, writes: “We condemn the irresolvable close of borders by Rwanda to her neighbours, and also anywhere in Africa where this backwardness move takes place especially in this 21st century in the name of sovereignty.”

The statement continues: “This affects our economies and keeps Africans in poverty. Sovereignty in poverty is the poverty of sovereignty.”

Rwanda however, says it is only closed the Gatuna border temporarily to heavy traffic to allow for planned completion of the One Stop Border Post linking the two countries.

But this website understands that Rwanda on top of closing its borders to Ugandan goods, it also issued a travel advisory to its citizens against travelling to Uganda saying it cannot guarantee their safety.

Kigali accuses Uganda of what it has described as “three outstanding issues”.

These have been publicly outlined by President Kagame as support to individuals and groups including RNC of Kayumba Nyamwasa and “P5″─ groups focused on fighting the Rwandan government; arresting, torturing and deporting Rwandans as well as economic sabotage.

Rwanda government now accuses both Uganda and Burundi of backing Rwandan dissidents and providing recruits – with safe passage to DR Congo training camps.

This week Callixte Nsabimana aka Major Sankara who is the ex-spokesperson of the National Liberation Front (NFL) that claimed responsibility for these attacks confirmed before court that Burundian intelligence officials and Uganda through Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (DMI) supports them.

The statement from the Global Pan African Movement also came as Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame arrived in South Africa for the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday.

Uganda Police has also released a statement Saturday accusing Rwandan soldiers of crossing into Uganda and shot dead two people, all males: a Rwandan and Ugandan.

The Rwandan is Nyengye Peter, according to Uganda Police statement, killed 8 pm last night as he attempted to cross with goods on a motorcycle.

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