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Uganda and Rwanda move closer to opening border

The two team leaders Sam Kutesa of Uganda, and Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe gave the meeting a thumbs up. PHOTO Rwanda MFA media

Kigali, Rwanda | THE INDEPENDENT | Rwanda and Uganda have agreed to resume collaboration among their security organs which had been stopped when the relations between the countries soured at the start of last year.

This was part of the resolutions in the communique from the Ad hoc committee meeting between Ugandan delegation and Rwanda’s which took place in Kigali on Friday.

According to the communique signed by Uganda Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Rwanda’s State Minister for East African Affairs Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe, “both parties agreed to resume the collaboration between their defence and security organs…in the interest of their national security”.

President Yoweri Museveni hailed the talks, saying they were positive. “Yesterday, I received feedback from Ambassador Adonia Ayebare whom I had sent as my special envoy to President Paul Kagame. He was received well. Uganda will take further decisive actions aimed at normalisation of relations between our countries,” Museveni said on twitter.

The ad hoc committee meeting follows a February 2, 2020 summit of Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame in Luanda, the Angolan capital to talk over their disagreements.

The Ad hoc meeting in Kigali agreed on both countries finalizing the extradition treaty to be signed when presidents meet at the Katuna border next week.

The treaty will help both countries exchange criminals to be tried in their respective countries.

Rwanda said it will write formally to Uganda today February 15, 2020, detailing the specific issues on the Rwandan rebels operating in Uganda. Kigali says it expects Uganda to verify the accusations and respond by February 20, 2020.

With that fulfilled, the communique says, the ad hoc recommends that the summit for the opens the border when they meet on February 21, 2020, to allow activities and mobility of people and goods between the two countries.  The Gatuna Rwanda-Uganda border has been closed since February 2019.

In a speech in Kigali, Nduhungirehe named a number of officials he claimed are operating in Uganda and some are travelling on Ugandan passports and running rebel groups to destabilize their country.

He named Sula Nuwamanya who is working with an NGO in Uganda, Charlotte Mukakunsi, and one Prossy Bonabana. He said these were working under the facilitation of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) deputy director Col CK Asiimwe.

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