KAMPALA – Rwandan authorities have detailed what they say are the “three outstanding issues” it has against Uganda – in fresh row for hearts and minds of ordinary citizens in both countries.
Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister and Government Spokesman Dr. Richard Sezibera explained the concerns at a press in Kigali saying the “intense efforts are underway to restore good relations with Uganda” only if the demands are solved.
He, however, stressed that until all the issues that have been pending for the past two years are solved, relations will not normalize.
Sezibera said: “There are three outstanding issues we have put to Uganda to resolve for the tension to calm down and these include Uganda providing room for dissidents with intent to harm Rwanda including RNC, P5, and FDLR”.
“Two, abduction, illegal detention and torture of Rwandans without due process on the Ugandan territory. Three, sabotaging the free movements of Rwandan goods to Uganda and exports through Uganda.”
He said Mr. Kagame had been assured by his counterpart President Yoweri Museveni at bilateral summits in Ethiopia and Entebbe as well through other channels that all would be resolved.
“It has been two years and nothing has been done despite the many letters and phone calls. Some of these diplomatic notes never got responses,” he said stressing that until all the “three outstanding issues” are solved, Rwandans are “advised” not to travel to Uganda.
Dr. Sezibera also gave ‘986’ as the definitive number of the individuals that have been arrested and deported or dumped at the border after being tortured to near-death.
He also put on record that at least 190 Rwandans are currently in cells manned by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
However, he alleged that a list of 20 names was made public by Rwanda in January. It is the one shared widely on social media.
“There are international conventions followed when deporting someone, not blindfolding someone torture him or her when you reach the borders you just dump them to us in such a terrible state. Actually, the high figure increases the suspicions,” Sezibera said.
“When Ugandans are arrested here, we inform the embassy immediately before we take them to court. The embassy follows every stage of the process.”
Sezibera also confirmed for the first time that DR Congo handed over FDLR commanders arrested on DRC border coming from Uganda.
The extradited FDLR senior commanders include its spokesman Ignace Nkaka alias LaForge Bazeye Fils and deputy intelligence chief Lt Col Nsekenabo Jean Pierre alias Abega Kamala.
The Minister alleged that on their visit, these FDLR fighters met Ugandan officials, but declined to name names.
“They are very fine and have divulged a lot of information. The most important issue here is that they are back home,” he said but did not mention when or whether they would be prosecuted.
The Kampala regime has Tuesday, March 5, entirely dismissed allegations implicating Uganda of harboring rebels fighting Paul Kagame government.
A statement signed by, Sam Kutesa, the minister of Foreign Affairs, trashes the claims rebelling them as entirely false and that “Uganda does not and cannot allow anyone to operate from its territory and threaten a neighbor as alleged.”
“This is a principled position. We are fully aware that our won development and transformation cannot take place without peace and security in the region,” Kutesa said adding that “we are convinced that doing so strengthens our regional integration and also helps us to integrate faster into the global economy.”
The Foreign Affairs minister went ahead to deny reports that there had been arrests, torture, and harassment of Rwandans living in Uganda adding that “Uganda is a welcoming country that is why it hosts one of the biggest numbers of refugees in the world” but “any visitor must be law abiding.”
Uganda Police had already distanced itself from allegations of arresting, harassing and torturing Rwandan nationals in Uganda saying the force does not have any Rwandan nationals in custody nor have any information in regards to such.
While addressing the media on Monday, March 4 at the police headquarters in Naguru, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga challenged Rwanda to issue an official complaint with the Uganda foreign affairs ministry.