Rwanda says diplomatic relations with Uganda not improving

President Museveni shakes hands with President Kagame in Luanda, Angola (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Rwandan minister of Foreign affairs and international relations, Dr Vincent biruta on Thursday remarked that diplomatic relations between Rwanda and Uganda have not improved despite initial efforts to promote more harmonious and goodneighborly.

Speaking during a press conference in Kigali, the top Rwandan diplomat explained that despite several meetings held to restore cordial bilateral relations with Uganda, the situation “has not changed very much”

“For us (Rwanda) to do that, we need political will from our neighbor, we need to address issues that have been discussed for many years now; the harassment of Rwandans who cross to Uganda or living there,” Dr. Biruta told reporters in Kigali.

Among other issues to discuss earlier between officials in Kigali and Kampala also include supporting negative groups which aim at destabilizing our country, we are ready to build a consultative relationship.

“The political will is still missing (to restore strained diplomatic ties) with Uganda,” he said.

Rwanda and Uganda remain at loggerheads after almost three years of strained relations despite diplomatic efforts to resolve the outstanding issues.

Both countries have traded accusations, with Kigali accusing Kampala of supporting armed groups against it, harbouring hostile groups, kidnapping as well as torturing Rwandans in Uganda. It resulted in the closure of the border. Uganda too has accused Rwanda of trying to
impose a trade embargo and espionage.

At the height of the tensions earlier this year, Rwanda blocked cargo trucks from Uganda from entering its territory from the main crossing point at their common border at Gatuna, saying it was due to construction work at the border.

Rwanda also stopped its citizens from crossing to Uganda over allegations of arbitrary detentions of Rwandans and torture in Uganda, accusations Kampala denies.

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