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Uganda’s MFA says Chinese diplomats not involved in ivory trade

Kampala, Uganda | MIN FA|  Following leaked reports that President Yoweri Museveni had ordered a probe into collusion between Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and several Chinese nationals, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda has come out to clarify that the two accused are not diplomats.

A statement released by the Uganda Foreign Affairs ministry said that “following a thorough review of its records, it has confirmed that both Li Wejin and Yinzhi are not accredited diplomats with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Uganda.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amb. Patrick Mugoya released a statement after a meeting with senior Officials of the Chinese Embassy led by the Ambassador in Kampala.

The meeting was attended by Amb. Philip Odida, head of the Asia and Pacific Department and  Margaret Kafeero, Head of the Public Diplomacy Department.

Last week, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had clarified to reporters in Beijing that “we have rigorous regulations and laws on governmental officials, embassy members, and visiting groups to forbid them from buying or engaging in (smuggling) activities.”

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PRESS STATEMENT

ALLEGED COLLABORATION BY SOME UGANDA WILDLIFE AUTHORITY OFFICIALS WITH SOME CHINESE NATIONALS BY NAMES OF LI WEJIN AND YINZHI WHO ARE DIPLOMATS IN THE EMBASSY TO EXPORT IVORY

Reference is made to recent local and international media reports quoting a leaked letter from H.E the President asking the Inspector General of Government to investigate the alleged “collaboration by some Uganda Wildlife Authority officials with some Chinese by the names of Li Wejin and Yinzhi who are diplomats in the Embassy to export ivory”, among other issues.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform all to whom it may concern that following a thorough review of its records, it has confirmed that both Mr. Li Wejin and Yinzhi are not accredited diplomats with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Uganda.

The Ministry regrets the negative impact this incident may have caused to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

China and Uganda continue to enjoy very cordial relations. The Government of Uganda reiterates its commitment to strengthening further the relations and bonds of friendship that exist between our two countries.

Ambassador Patrick S. Mugoya
PERMANENT SECRETARY

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