‘Rwanda-Uganda relations remain at loggerheads’

On 30 July 2021 at 02:57

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta has said that efforts to normalize relations between Rwanda-Uganda remain at the loggerheads and reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to live in peace with neighbors.

Minister Biruta made the observation on Thursday 29th July 2021 during a press conference to brief the media on various key local, regional and global issues.

“There is no major progress to restore relations with Uganda to normalcy but the Government of Rwanda is ready to live in peace with neighboring countries including Uganda,” he said.

Minister Biruta explained that finding solutions to outstanding issues is a matter of political will.

“Political will is paramount to normalize relations with neighbors. We also need to find a solution for issues that we have been discussing for many years. These include torture of Rwandans crossing to or living in Uganda and the support of Ugandan security officials to rebel groups intending to destabilize our country. It necessitates political will, and Rwanda is ready to do its part to live in harmony with Uganda,” he said.

Rwanda, Uganda relations worsened since 2017. Rwanda has been expressing concerns over Rwandans who travel to Uganda for business purposes but are abducted, imprisoned and tortured accused of being spies.

Rwanda also accuses Uganda of hosting dissidents that are posing a threat to national security.

In March 2019, the Government of Rwanda officially advised citizens not to travel to Uganda for their security following testimonies of over 1000 Rwandans tortured and deported from Uganda.

In August 2019, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame signed memorandum of understanding ‘Luanda Agreement’ in a bid to solve conflicts between both countries.

Despite efforts to sign the agreement between both heads of state witnessed by mediators including the President of Angola, Joao Lourenço and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the situation is still worsening as Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence continues with arbitrary detention of Rwandans who are subjected to torture in its facilities.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta during a press conference on Thursday.