March 5, 2019

Uganda Foreign Minister Answers Rwanda’s “Three Outstanding Issues”

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Uganda Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa

In a statement designed to respond directly to a morning press conference by Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Government Spokesperson Dr Richard Sezibera, Uganda has immediately shot back.

Kampala’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa tackled all the “three outstanding issues” which Dr Sezibera raised.

On “alleged hosting of elements fighting Rwanda,” Kutesa says “It is false”, adding that “Rwanda knows this very well.”

“…It has been a matter of confidential communication between the two countries,” he said.

As for the “alleged arrest, torture and harassment of Rwandans”, Kutesa says “It is not true,” continuing that “Uganda expects all visitors to [Uganda] including Rwandans to remain law abiding citizens…”

With regard to issue number three as raised by Sezibera of “restricting of business with Rwanda”, his counterpart Kutesa does not make categorical denial.

Instead, the statement seems to refer, but without saying it, the Gatuna border closure by Rwanda for ongoing constructions. 

Finally, Kutesa says, “Rwanda is a brotherly country and Uganda remains ready to address any issues in order to strengthen our bilateral relations and cooperation.”

A review of the Kutesa statement shows it has similarities to one made by Uganda government spokesman Ofwono Opondo on Friday and repeated on Saturday.

They both only make general references to what has been raised by Rwanda. (See Kutesa statement below)

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