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Rwanda calls off second ‘border closure’ meeting

FALLEN OUT: Museveni and Kagame earlier in the year in South Africa. PHOTO PPU

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The second meeting between Uganda and Rwanda to address rising tension between the two countries and the border closure, has been called off indefinitely.

According to the Uganda government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo, the meeting was called off at the request of Kigali.

He said via his twitter handle that “the media is hereby informed that the Second meeting of the Adhoc Commission on Luanda MoU between Uganda and Rwanda scheduled for November 18, 2019, in Kampala has been postponed at the request of Rwanda.”

The meeting, which would have been a follow-up to the Kigali meeting of September 16, was supposed to take place after 30 days – on October 16, 2019, but the date passed quietly. Now that the November date has been cancelled, it leaves everything uncertain as to when both countries would meet.

Kigali said then that it was waiting for an invitation from Kampala which never came. The second meeting was specifically expected to help resolve the Gatuna border closure, which has been shut since February 2019.

Trade between Uganda and Rwanda has fallen to near zero.

On Saturday 9, 2019 two Uganda businessmen – Job Ebyarishaga and Bosco Tuhirwe – were killed inside Rwanda and the Kigali administration said they were smuggling tobacco into its territory.

But Kampala didn’t take this lightly, writing a protest letter this week against the killing of its people for and asked for a joint investigation into the said murders and that the perpetrators are held accountable.

Today, Kagame spoke in Rwanda sending veiled barbs to the country’s supposed enemies saying they were “going to raise the cost on the part of anybody who wants to destabilize our security. The cost is going to be very high”.

“For those who are involved, you’ll have to come clean. You can’t be here benefiting from the peace and security that we have paid for in blood and then do things that cause us problems. We will put you where you belong,” he said.

These barbs are seen to be directed at Uganda.

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