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Katuna Summit sets new conditions for border re-opening

 

The presidents at Katuna. Border will be reopened when all allegations are cleared. PHOTO PPU

Katuna, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The 4th Quadripartite Heads of State Summit has set new conditions to be met before the Rwanda-Uganda border is re-opened.

The summit, according to a communique,  recommended that  Uganda should within one month verify allegations by Rwanda about action from its territory by forces hostile to them.

“If these allegations are proved, the Ugandan Government  will take all measures to stop it and prevent it from happening again. This action must be verified and confirmed by the Ad-Hoc Ministerial Commission for the implementation of the memorandum of understanding of Luanda,” the communique stated.

“Once this recommendation is fulfilled and reported to the to the Heads of States, the facilitators will convene within 15 days, a summit in Gatuna/Katuna for the solemn re-opening of the borders and subsequent normalization of the relations between the two countries,” the statement concluded.

The two countries meanwhile signed an extradition treaty, which took place in the framework of the Quadripartite Summit.

Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa signing the extradition treaty with Rwanda. COURTESY PHOTO

The summit at the border town of Katuna was attended by Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, João Lourenço of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of DRC who uncharacteristically did not address the press after.

However, hours after the meeting ended, President Museveni sympathized with all those affected by the closure, saying they will soon get relief.

“My sympathies go out to the citizens of Uganda and Rwanda that have been affected by the closure of the Katuna border,” he tweeted, saying that ” I call upon you to be patient as we pursue a lasting solution. I am very optimistic that the truth will come out because the NRM government stands for the truth.”

Today’s meeting was part of the resolutions of the third Quadripartite summit held in Luanda, Angola on February 2, 2020, to mainly resolve a standoff between the two neighbouring countries, which was heightened by the closure of the Rwandan border at Gatuna last year.

During the time of the border closure, Rwandan authorities accused Uganda of abducting Rwandan citizens and locking them up in ungazetted areas. Rwandan nationals were also advised against travelling to Uganda, on grounds that there safety could not be guaranteed.

During the Luanda summit, it was agreed that the two nations release prisoners being held in their countries, refrain from interference in each other’s affairs, protect the Human rights of citizens of both Uganda and Rwanda and continuation of the activities of the Ad-Hoc commission, as a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the process.

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