In early January this year, Uganda released 9 Rwandans among hundreds of others who remain prisoners till today. Some of them had been in jail for two years, suffering daily torture and denied the right to be tried in court.
Rwanda condemns Uganda for arresting Rwandans illegally, torturing them to the extent of permanent handicap and also supporting anti-Rwanda terrorist groups including RNC of Kayumba Nyamwasa. All that led to Rwanda advising its citizens to stop travels to Uganda for security matters.
On Wednesday, January 29th, 2020, President Kagame hosted over 60 members of the Diplomatic Corps at the annual diplomats’ luncheon. He said that he declined Uganda’s request to let Rwandans travel to Uganda again.
“The other side says, you see we have shown a good gesture. Now you must also do something. We say what? Something that tells Rwandans to start traveling to Uganda. And I asked one of the officials who came to see me and told me that: I can easily say that make a statement that you released nine people, everything is okay, you can start going to Uganda.”
“I told this official, suppose I start doing that, and the next and another day more Rwandans are arrested and those still in custody are not released. Are you suggesting I would go tell these Rwandans, you know what? I was deceived. Again, stop going there.”
President Kagame said that due to the tensions with Uganda, chairing the East African Community proved itself more difficult.
“Even with fewer countries, being the chair of the Community this past year is more difficult than leading the entire continent. I am sure you are aware of the challenge we had in our country with our neighbor, let me say neighbors, but particularly the neighbor to our North, which is Uganda.”
He said that the objective of the EAC is freedom of movement and people as well as good diplomatic relations between but that collaboration is a priority to achieve it.
“If my neighbor tells me, If I find you in my home compound, I will do something to you. What that results into is you are now creating a border, a line between your home and mine. Just by the statement. If I am moving around and loitering and find myself in your compound, and you say this is a no-go area, don’t step here. You have already created a border between us.”
President Kagame said that the integration between communities does not happen automatically.
“The integration of regions and communities does not happen just because you are making a slogan about it. No, it happens because you are doing what must be done to make it a reality.’
President Kagame concluded his speech by commending President Tshisekedi and the Congolese Armed Forces to stabilize Eastern Congo and called upon African countries to sustain international collaboration on common issues including climate change, global trade and security.