KAMPALA — President Museveni has directed resident district commissioners (RDCs) to “deal” with Rwanda security forces that cross over to Ugandan territory to kidnap and shoot dead unarmed Ugandans.
In an August 4, 2020 letter to all RDCs, Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo also directed RDCs to warn residents against illegal entry into Rwanda.
“His Excellency the President has sent a directive, especially to you RDCs, especially those in the districts neighbouring Rwanda to inform Ugandans of the Rwanda government criminal policy of shooting smugglers that are not armed, although what they are doing is illegal. Ugandans should stop going to Rwanda or those who go do so at their own risk,” the letter reads in part.
“As for the Rwandan soldiers infiltrating into Uganda to kidnap people, the concerned security agencies are already briefed on how to deal with them,” the letter adds.
It is not immediately clear how the Ugandan army will deal with the Rwandans.
The letter comes amid a stalemate in the ongoing talks between the two countries to resolve the diplomatic impasse that led to the closure of the border by Rwanda.
The virtual meeting of the ad hoc commission for the normalisation of relations between Uganda and Rwanda ended in June 2020 without a position, especially on the opening of the Gatuna border point.
The meeting was the first of the commission since the fourth Quadripartite Heads of State Summit of President Museveni, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Angola’s Joao Laurenco, and DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi on February 21 at the Katuna/ Gatuna border.
Kagame, 62, accuses his former ally of backing rebel groups and dissidents who want to bring down the government in Kigali. Kigali has also accused Kampala of targeting its nationals, with the government advising Rwandans to avoid Uganda.
Museveni has denied that his country supports the rebel groups and has instead accused Kigali of trying to violate its sovereignty.
Despite Kampala releasing some of Rwanda nationals from jail, signs of resolving the standoff are not near. Instead, Rwanda has been shooting dead Ugandans who are caught smuggling different items to Rwanda.