Rwandan officials making public statements on the ongoing border tensions should be careful because they have property in Uganda, government spokesman Ofwono Opondo has said.
He told NTV Uganda television this Saturday February 2 that there were Rwandan officials, particularly State Minister for East African affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe who are attacking Ugandan officials.
Nduhungirehe has made several Twitter posts, some specifically responding to Opondo. In one post yesterday, Nduhungirehe described as “factually and demonstrably incorrect” some of the allegations made by Opondo at a media briefing in Kampala, which was being relayed live on Twitter by his office.
In the NTV Uganda interview, Opondo speaking in Luganda language said: “Some of these officials talking have land and other property here. It is irresponsible on their part to utter anything. They will force us to expose their secrets.”
Opondo also said all allegations Rwanda is making against Uganda are “not true” – reason why they have not been reported to the East African Community, a regional grouping of Rwanda with 5 others neighbours.
Rwanda accuses Uganda of arming and financing Rwandans dissidents in Uganda and facilitating their leaders in South Africa. Uganda is also said to be actively providing considerable backing to Rwandan FDLR rebels in DR Congo – whose members participated in the 1994 genocide against Tutsis.
FDLR spokesman and intelligence chief were arrested on DRC-Uganda border as they returned from meetings in Kampala with high-level Ugandan officials. Reports say they have been handed to Rwanda, which has yet to be confirmed.
Uganda, according to Kigali, has arrested dozens of Rwandans currently detained illegally. They are ‘arrested, harassed, tortured, incarcerated without consular access, and some deported’, says Rwanda.
In the NTV Uganda interview in Luganda, Opondo said: “If what they accuse Uganda of doing was true and they do not want to present it to Uganda, they should have gone to the East African Community. Otherwise the fact that they have not done that shows all they are saying is not true.”
Coincidentally, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is the current chair of the EAC, which he assumed on February 2, taking over from Uganda’s counterpart Yoweri Museveni.
The issues against Uganda have been going on for more than two years, some going back much longer.