The common border between Uganda and Rwanda will remain closed for at least another month despite the meeting between presidents Museveni and Paul Kagame.
On Friday, the two presidents met for the third time during the fourth Quadripartite Heads of State Summit at the Katuna/Gatuna border point in a bid to ease tensions between the two neighbouring countries.
However, despite signing an extradition treaty, it was agreed that opening of the border will have to wait a little longer as Uganda verifies the allegations by Rwanda in regards harboring dissidents destabilizing the Kigali establishment.
“The summit recommended that Uganda should within one month verify the allegations of Rwanda about action from its territory by forces hostile to the Rwandan government,” the communiqué from the meeting read in part.
The frosty relations between Uganda and Rwanda that had gone on for a couple of years finally became pronounced in March last year when Rwanda closed its borders with her immediate neighbour, Uganda.
Rwanda has on several occasions accused Uganda of offering safe haven 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).
In a statement early this week, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry asked Uganda to look into the operations and fundraising activities of Prossy Bonabaana, Sula Nuwamanya, Dr Rukondo Rugari, Emeritthe Gahongayire, and Emmanuel Mutarambirwa, all alleged to be part of Rwanda National Congress’ leadership in Uganda through an NGO called the Self-Worth Initiative,”
On Friday, the meeting at Katuna agreed that the allegations should be investigated by Uganda before coming up with an answer within a month’s time.
“If these allegations are proved, the Ugandan government will take all measures to stop it and prevent it from happening against. This action must be verified and confirmed by the Ad-Hoc Ministerial Commission for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding of Luanda,” the communiqué said.
The two leaders according to the statement agreed that once this recommendation is fulfilled and reported to the heads of state a meeting will be convened within 15 days to work out the opening of the common border between the two countries.
“…..the facilitator will convene within 15 days, a summit in Katuna/ Gatuna for the solemn reopening of borders and subsequent normalization of the relations between the countries will follow.”
Whereas Friday’s meeting shines a ray of hope for citizens of both countries that have suffered due to the border closure, they will have to wait a little longer to have it reopened.
Speaking during the meeting in Kampala last year, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa insisted that there is no reason for Uganda to support subversive activities against Rwanda.
“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.