The statement released on Wednesday by Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa and others he has made before are “diversionary and do not address fundamental issues raised by Rwanda”, according to Kigali.
In a counter statement from Rwanda’s Office of the Government Spokesperson, which also doubles as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Kigali does not even mention Minister Kutesa directly.
Kutesa said yesterday that Rwanda has imposed “trade embargo” on Uganda. Previously, he has also made general comments on the Rwanda-Uganda issue.
“The Government of Rwanda calls upon the Government of Uganda to address the key issues stated above and as already repeatedly communicated in bilateral settings,” says Rwanda in its response today.
Below is full statement.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Rwanda
Kigali – The recent statements issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda including the one dated 13 March 2019 are diversionary and do not address fundamental issues raised by Rwanda. Specifically:
- The fate of hundreds of Rwandans, whose names are known to the Government of Uganda, who have been killed, arrested, incarcerated without consular access and tortured, nor the close to one thousand illegally deported to Rwanda in inhumane conditions.
- The presence of armed groups and terrorist organisations hostile to Rwanda, including RNC, FDLR and others, who are supported in their activities, including recruitment, by institutions and officials of the Government of Uganda. The details of these concerns have been repeatedly communicated to the Government of Uganda.
- The targeting of ordinary Rwandan citizens involved in regular business and trade activities, within the framework of the East African Community and the hampering of the free movement of goods, including perishables, to and through Uganda.
- It is not possible to have free trade including free movement of goods if traders are killed, tortured, extorted and their property are illegally seized. These are the fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Claims that Rwanda has instituted trade embargo on Uganda are as untrue as they are diversionary.
- Rwanda’s commitment to free movement of people, including Ugandans, goods and services within the region and on the continent is unquestionable. The Government of Rwanda calls upon the Government of Uganda to address the key issues stated above and as already repeatedly communicated in bilateral settings.