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Three Ugandans held while crossing back from Rwanda

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three Ugandan businessmen are being held in Rwanda. The three include Bosco Nkwasiibwe, a resident of Kamwezi sub-county in Rukiga district, Dauliano Orikurungi from Kabale district and Siliaco Orishaba from Rubanda district.

Peninah Karungi, a wife to Nkwasiibwe told our reporter on Sunday that the victims were arrested by Rwandan security operatives on Thursday morning. She adds that their captors also confiscated an unspecified amount of Rwandan Francs from the victims.

Rukiga District Vice Chairperson Jackson Muganiizi says that the victims were arrested from Kamwezi while crossing back into Uganda from Nyagatare district in Rwanda, where they had gone to visit their relatives. He adds that the three are now detained at Nyagatare district headquarters.

Their arrest comes at a time Uganda and Rwanda are negotiating a possible re-opening of the border at Gatuna, which has been closed for a year.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Kaguta Museveni held a meeting on Friday at Katuna border mediated by João Lourenço, the President of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi as part of the resolutions of the quadripartite summit held in Luanda, Angola on February 2, 2020.

The meeting recommended that Uganda within one month verifies allegations of the Republic of Rwanda about action from its territory by forces hostile to the government. If the allegations are proved, the Ugandan government should take all measures to stop it from happening again.

The summit also resolved that the once the recommendation is fulfilled and reported to the heads of state, the facilitators will convene within 15 days, a summit at Katuna for the solemn reopening of the borders and subsequent normalization of the relations between the two countries.

But on Saturday, Olivier Nduhungirehe, the Rwandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of the East African Community Affairs said in a tweet that the border will only open if Uganda takes measures against armed groups in a one-month period.

After the meeting, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni refuted links with General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, the leader of Rwanda National Congress (RNC) whom Rwanda accuses of targeting to destabilize the country’s peace.

Uganda-Rwanda relations which resulted in border closure faded in February 2019 with Rwandan authorities-led by Kagame accusing Ugandan authorities of abducting Rwandan citizens and locking them up in ungazetted areas.

They also accuse Uganda of hosting and facilitating dissidents especially from the Rwanda National Congress and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, who have declared war on the Kigali government.

Rwanda advised its citizens against travelling to Uganda, saying it can’t guarantee their safety. Since the border closure, several Ugandans and Rwandans have been arrested and shot by Rwandan security for their alleged involvement in smuggling.

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