By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Amidst a tighten row between Uganda and neighbouring Rwandan, both leaders have continued to warn their citizens of dangers from each side that have since left many dead after crossing borders.
In a new move to ‘save lives’ of his citizens, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame over the weekend made an addressed and revealed a souring relationship between him and Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni after warning Rwandans not to risk crossing to Uganda if they still need their lives.
President Kagame continues to accuse Uganda of illegally arresting and torturing Rwandans hence warning them thus;
”There is only one way to avoid this problem; by not going there (to Uganda). Do not go there because if you cross the border and they arrest and beat you or rob you, and you come back, what do you want me to do,” he said adding;
“That is another country and it has another way it is governed and I have no authority in that country. The only advice I can give to you is that do not go to Uganda.”
It is worth noting that in the year 2019, the government of Rwanda issued a travel advisory against Uganda before it closed its border with Kagame accusing the Matooke Republic of aiding rebels to overthrow his government.
“No Ugandan gets problems in Rwanda, but literally, all Rwandans who go there… are worried. Some have even regretted going there and some are now crippled because of the way they are arrested and tortured..” President Kagame said.
Kagame before closing borders also advised his citizens that the only way to avoid ‘atrocities in Uganda’ was restricting themselves from crossing into the country.
“This problem will not end with us. The solution will have to come from those doing these acts. The only advice I can give to you is; was it necessary for you to go there? Why don’t you avoid going there?”Kagame said.
Good Friends Turn Good Enemies
When a young Yoweri Museveni launched his rebellion to seize Uganda’s presidency in 1981, he found a vital ally in an exiled Rwandan soldier named Paul Kagame. The former guerilla leaders have been presidents of their respective countries for 33 and 19 years now, but their relationship has soured since those early days during Uganda’s Bush War.
Tensions escalated sharply earlier last year, as both men hurled accusations of sabotage, and Rwanda sealed its border with Uganda, halting trade and issuing a travel advisory. In August 2019, Kagame and Museveni met in Luanda, Angola to sign a memorandum of understanding meant to end their standoff and repair relations.
The brinkmanship between Rwanda and Uganda has already taken an economic toll. The Ugandan Ministry of Trade recorded millions of dollars in losses, resulting from the border closure, and accused the Rwandan government of effectively imposing a trade embargo.
The current showdown may be the worst in years. In addition to the border closure, Museveni and Kagame have taken to jousting in highly public arenas. It all began in February 2019, when Ugandan authorities claimed that “external forces” were plotting to overthrow Museveni, and seemed to point a finger at Rwanda. Rwandan diplomats in turn asserted that Uganda had detained, tortured and illegally deported Rwandan citizens and sheltered dissidents.
In March 2020, Kagame used an annual leadership retreat in Rwanda to lob his own incendiary allegations against Museveni, claiming that he has been trying to topple him for the past two decades and declared, “No one can bring me to my knees.”
Not to be outdone, Museveni responded. “Those who want to destabilize our country do not know our capacity,” he said, while commissioning factories outside of Kampala. “Once we mobilize, you can’t survive.” Months later, in July 2019, police in Uganda arrested 40 Rwandans living in the country. The intelligence services cited unspecified security concerns.