KAMPALA – Ugandan and Rwandan officials failed to reach an agreement Saturday on most of the contentious issues that are said to have sparked the impasse between the two countries.
Inside the closed door meeting at the Common Wealth Resort Munyonyo, Rwanda laid on table ‘evidence’ of Uganda’s destabilizing actions, protection of the rights and freedoms of each other’s nationals, and resumption of cross-border activities.
“There are armed groups that are operating here in Uganda and are getting support,” said Rwanda’s foreign affairs minister, Olivier Nduhungirehe.
“We have discussed and have provided information, we have provided names. We have also addressed the issue of Rwandans who are arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained and also tortured in this country,” he added.
On his part, Uganda’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa, listed some of Uganda’s own grievances against its neighbor.
“Issues like attempts to infiltrate our security agencies,” Kutesa said.
“Issues like the closure of the border by Rwanda. We also talked about Rwandans who have been arrested here for illegal activities and some of them deported,” he added.
Kutesa assured the visiting delegation, that Uganda shall never support any force that destabilizes or intends to destabilize our neighbors including Rwanda.
The Rwandan team was led by their Minister for East African Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe, and Ambassador of Rwanda to Uganda Frank Mugambage among other delegates.
For the Ugandan side, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana led the delegation. Also present on the Uganda side was State Minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) boss Brig Abel Kandiho and deputy Chief of Defense Forces Lt general Wilson Mbadi.
Present as witnesses were the Angolan Minister for External Affairs Manuel Augusto Domingos and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Deputy Prime Minister Gilbert Kankonde.
No joint statement was issued at the end of the meeting. However, both opted to refer the matter to the two principals – Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame who they said would decide and find a way forward.
The presidents of Rwanda and Uganda signed a memorandum of understanding in August in Angola in which they agreed to work toward a cease-fire along their mutual border.
Africa Tembelea understands that while Rwanda expressed hope that the issues can be resolved in good faith and good will, Uganda said it hoped for truth and trust.