KAMPALA – The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sam Kutesa, has said that they dropped charges against nine Rwanda nationals out of good will in order to normalize relations between the two countries.
“Let me set the record straight. We have withdrawn charges. These people were not arbitrary arrested. It was an act of goodwill and we hope it will be reciprocated,” Mr Kutesa said at the handover of the Rwandan nationals to the Rwandan High Commissioner to Uganda, Maj Gen Frank Mugambage, in Kampala on Wednesday.
Per the August 2019 Luanda Memorandum of Understanding between Uganda and Rwanda penned in Angola, the Makindye-based General Court Martial on Tuesday revoked charges against the Rwandan nationals.
“In line with the Uganda-Rwanda Memorandum of Understanding signed in Angola, the government of Uganda has withdrawn charges of nine Rwandan individuals that were undergoing charges at the General Court Martial,” Mr Kutesa added.
According to Kutesa, the suspects were released on a mole prosecu. “This is when someone who is charged and during or before trial, you decide for whatever reason to withdraw charges against him and for our case, we are doing this as a political move to ease the tension between our two countries which is in accordance to the law.”
The Rwandan High Commissioner to Uganda Maj Gen Frank Mugambage commended the move as a step in the right direction on the normalization of relations between the two countries.
“A step in the right direction needs to be followed by further actions to end all the concerns that we have always have raised over time. It is not only those. We would request in good gesture as the Minister has said that all those who were arbitrarily arrested and are under illegal detention should also be released,” he said.
The nine Rwandan nationals set free are; Mr. Mugabo Nelson, RTD SGT Rene Rutagungira, Mr. Etienne Nsanzabahizi, Mr. Claude Yakalemye, Mr. Emmanuel Rwamuchwo, Mr. Augustine Rutayisire, CPL Nzeyamana Herman, Mr. Munyagabe Adrien, and Mr. Urayeneza Gilbert.