By Frank Kamuntu
Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta has denied allegations that his country closed the borders with Uganda, saying it only issued a security advisory to its citizens.
Biruta made the remarks at a press conference in Kigali on Wednesday, where he welcomed the release of nine Rwandans who had been detained in Uganda.
“The Government of Rwanda never closed its border. We only advised Rwandans not to travel to Uganda for their security. Once illegal detention and torture of Rwandans are stopped, we are ready to change our travel advisory.” Biruta said.
Rwanda and Uganda have been at loggerheads for months, culminating into the closure of their borders.
Negotiations are ongoing to normalize the situation, facilitated by regional players including the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi and Angola’s Joao Lourenco.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame in August 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the Angolan capital Luanda to cease hostilities.
Earlier this month, President Museveni said he had sent a special envoy to meet President Kagame, and that the two sides had fruitful discussions. He said a decision will soon be made to end the tensions.
So far Uganda has released a number of Rwandans including the nine who were released yesterday after they had been detained by the Ugandan Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) over charges of illegal possession of fire arms since 2017.
However, the Rwandan Government demands the release of more Rwandans who are still incarcerated in Uganda.