The second meeting between Uganda and Rwanda to follow up on the implementation of the Luanda peace pact hit a dead end on Friday as both countries failed to agree on anything.
On August, 21, in Luanda, the Angolan capital, Presidents Museveni and Paul Kagame signed a pact to end the bickering between the two close allies and this, they agreed would be followed by several meetings to fast –track the implementation of the agreement and the one at Speke hotel in Munyonyo, Kampala was the second one, but there were no tangible results.
To confirm this, there was no joint communiqué, as usually is the custom after such meetings.
Among the key contentious issued discussed during the seven hours meeting was the allegation by Rwanda that the Kampala establishment supports forces bent on overthrowing their government.
Rwanda has on several occasions accused Uganda of offering succor to two foreign Rwanda rebel groups including Rwanda National Congress (RNC) led by South Africa-based Kayumba Nyamwasa and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)
Uganda has since denied the same.
On Friday, the matter was among the issues that both delegations failed to agree on as each maintained its position.
Speaking to journalists after the closed-door meeting, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa insisted that there is no reason for Uganda to support subversive activities against Rwanda, adding they will never do it.
“There is no reason whatsoever and Uganda will not try to subvert the government of Rwanda. We have no reason, we have no benefit,”Kutesa said.
For Rwanda’s Minister for Regional Cooperation, Olivier Nduhungirehe repeated comments always carried by their government over the matter.
“People on our border want to be sure that they will live in peace without being threatened by armed groups that are in operating here and getting support from Uganda,”Nduhungirehe said.
Both delegations however, never reached a middle ground on the matter as each maintained its ground.
Arrest of Rwandans in Uganda
The two parties also never reached a common ground on the claims by Rwanda that many of their citizens are arrested and detained in Uganda by security agencies.
“We addressed the issue of Rwandans arbitrarily arrested and detained in Uganda. We didn’t have an agreement on this issue. It’s an issue we will continue to talk about,”Nduhungirehe said.
Uganda makes case
Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa said during the meeting, the Ugandan delegation made a case for the arrests but insisted they are carried out legally.
“One of the issues Uganda raised was the infiltration of our security agencies by Rwandan government and its people. It is the reason for arrest and detention of people because we think they have been on an infiltration exercise,”Kutesa said.
He, however, insisted both countries will continue discussing the issue before reaching a conclusion.
“We continue discussing and find ways around it.”
One of the most contentious issues that both countries still failed to agree on was the closure of the border points between the two countries.
Whereas Uganda insisted there should not be reason for the continued closure, Rwanda said the issue is intertwined with the arrests of their people and support of subversive activities.
“The closure of the border and trade barrier between the two countries is a consequence of the two issues. It should not be reduced into border closure but rather an issue about our sovereignty and safety of Rwandans,” the Rwandan Minister for Regional Cooperation told journalists.
The two countries also never found a common ground on the issue of hostile media from both sides that they said is escalating tension among them.
The two delegations, however, agreed that the matters be referred to their respective heads of state for further consideration on a way forward.
It was tension in the closed-door six-hour meeting as both parties were suspicious of each other right from the start.
In the short stint that the media was allowed into the hall, no official from either side spoke to their counterpart from the other side.
They were all cold and the only discussions were amongst themselves.
The Ugandan delegation was led by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, State Minister for Internal Affairs,Obiga Kania and Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana.
Others included the CMI chief, Brig.Abel Kandiho and his deputy, Col.CK. Asiimwe, ESO Director General, Joseph Ocwet and Police Crime Intelligence Director, Col. Chris Ddamulira among other officials in security and Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The Rwandan delegation was led by their Regional Cooperation Minister, Olivier Nduhungirehe, Maj.Gen.Joseph Nzabamwita, the Secretary-general for the National Intelligence and Security Service and Gen.Patrick Nyamvumba, the Minister for Internal Security among other officials.