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Kagame: No Amount of Pressure Will Force us to Reopen Border with Uganda

President Kagame has said Rwanda will only open her borders with Uganda if they feel comfortable to do so.

Kagame said no amount of pressure or manipulation of reality can push Rwanda into fully opening borders.

Kigali accuses Uganda of supporting Rwandan rebels, arresting and harassment of Rwandan nationals and economic sabotage.

As a result, Rwanda has since February last year imposed a trade embargo on Uganda and stopped her citizens from crossing over to Uganda.

On its part, Kampala accuses Kigali of slapping a trade embargo on Uganda; aggressive espionage; closing the Gatuna border; uprooting prominent Ugandans from the Rwandan economy and orchestrating a hate campaign against Uganda and its officials.

Kagame made the remarks on Wednesday at the annual Diplomatic Luncheon he hosted at state house in Kigali and attended by diplomats and representatives of International organizations designated to Rwanda where he talked about a number of issues including his chairmanship of the East Africa community.

“We will soon be meeting again in Angola but this will add nothing to the progress if these issues are not addressed,” he said.

He, however, said there is progress in resolving issues between the two countries but the problem is Uganda has made the issue about the border but the issue is far beyond the borders.

“Even if you removed the borders, the issues Rwanda has raised with Uganda will remain, mainly the hundreds of Rwandans who have been jailed in Uganda,” said the President.

Kagame’s remarks cast doubts about Kigali’s commitment to reopen the Gatuna border in the near future.

Kampala recently handed over Rwandan agents suspected of harassing and killing refugees in Uganda.

It was hoped Rwanda would swiftly reopen the border as a sign of commitment to restore the rapidly deteriorating bilateral relations.

“This has nothing to do with the border and I have personally raised this matter with Uganda. It is this situation that led to Rwanda advising her citizens not to go to Uganda and sort of closed the main border because they would be arrested, but Ugandans are free to come to Rwanda,” he continued.

Uganda has since denied arresting law abiding Rwandans but vowed to crack down on elements hell-bent on destabilizing Uganda.

Nine of the Rwandans who were charged in courts of law with illegal repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Uganda were released and handed over to Rwandan Authorities as part of the implementation of the Luanda MoU and Uganda called on Rwanda to reciprocate.

However speaking on the release of the nine suspects, Kagame said it was something he would call ‘good progress’ but that is a small number.

He also revealed that two Rwandans died in Uganda and signs show they were tortured.

In a rare admission, Kagame said leading the East African Community was more complicated than leading African Union which has more member states due to challenges.

Rwanda has had bad relations with both Burundi and Uganda.

Burundi accuses Rwanda of arming groups meant to destabilize her and sponsoring the 2015 failed coup in Bujumbura.

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