By Spy Uganda
The government of Uganda has Tuesday, February 18, 2020, freed 13 Rwandans, who were handed over by Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa to Rwandan authorities to be transferred to Kigali.
The thirteen freed Rwandan citizens have been facing prosecutions for various crimes in Uganda.
Some of the released Rwandans are Nturishwa Maboko, John Bosco Abomugisha, Okigwiriza Nassis, Okwetengire, Mukamazima Christine, Zangyeyesu, Eric, Awokuremeye Alfonsi, Gitufu Bosco, Ngaruye Jotham, Ngaruye JohnBosco, Suleman Kabayija, Nzabonimpa Fidel.
Kutesa, however, noted that the release does not mean that they did not commit the crimes.
He said the move is for Uganda to follow the decisions made in previous meetings to normalize the relations between Rwanda and Uganda.
“We want to clear the way to normalize relations. We are not saying people are innocent,” he said.
Following the release, Ugandan authorities urged the Rwandan government to ensure the released Rwandans never return to Uganda to commit the crimes for which they had been arrested.
Commenting about what Uganda has lost ever since relations between the two countries became sour, Kutesa said a lot has been lost; for instance, the closure of Gatuna/Katuna and Cyanika Borders has affected trade and commerce.
“I think it is not good for integration,” he said. “Both sides have lost.”
During the last meeting between Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame in Luanda, Angola, which was aimed at ironing out the differences between the two countries, Kagame urged Museveni to release hundreds of Rwandans detained in various detention centres in Uganda.
This recent release of Rwandans is thus seen as a fulfilment of some of the resolutions that were reached upon by the two presidents during the 3rd Tripartite summit.
President Yoweri Museveni said Uganda will “do its part” to ensure that the resolutions of the Third Tripartite Summit held in Angola’s capital are implemented.
The meeting, hosted by Angola’s President João Lourenço, took place in a “climate of fraternity and perfect understanding”.
In a tweet, President Museveni thanked President Lourenço for hosting the meeting and underlined Uganda’s commitment to sticking to what was agreed upon.
President Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo also attended the summit, which followed similar meetings on July 12 and August 21 last year, also involving the four heads of state.
During the meeting, the leaders are understood to have “exchanged views on strengthening their political, diplomatic, economic and cultural relations.”