Uganda Rejects Claims From Rwanda on Closing Border

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The government here rejected accusations Tuesday by Rwanda that it closed its borders because Uganda is hosting forces bent on destabilizing Kigali.

Rwanda closed its border last week, leaving stranded hundreds of trucks ferrying goods from Uganda and Kenya.

Some of the perishable goods including bananas, mangoes and tomatoes rotted, leading traders to heavy financial losses.

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Dr. Richard Sezibera spoke to reporters in Kigali on Tuesday and said his country is concerned about people in Uganda who allegedly support the Rwanda National Congress led by renegade Rwandan Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, based in South Africa.

He said many Rwandans have been arrested in Uganda and are languishing in prisons without the opportunity to be seen by Rwanda’s ambassador.

A statement issued Tuesday by Uganda’s Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa said it is not true that Uganda is supporting Rwanda’s enemies.

”We can not support Rwanda’s enemies because it would be a threat to the development aspirations of Uganda and in total contradiction of the efforts Uganda has championed to address peace and security matters in the region,” said Kutesa.

He also denied that Uganda arrested and tortured citizens and added that all foreigners, including Rwandans, must respect the laws that govern Uganda and those that do not act within the law will be punished.

Given the security challenges Uganda has had in the recent past, including terror attacks, it is committed to protecting its citizens and borders and will not hesitate to take action even on foreigners, he said.

On the restriction imposed by Rwanda on the movement of goods, Kutesa said it is unfortunate and a harmful development to the Ugandan and Rwandan economies.


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