The Rwanda government has dismissed as rumors, reports of military deployment at its border with Uganda, after closing it last week.
The neighboring country however, stressed that they still reserve the right to send soldiers at the border if the need arises to protect its people.
Rwandan Foreign Minister Dr Richard Sezibera, addressing press in Kigali on Tuesday said, while there is currently no deployment at the border, it is not entirely out of the question.
“I find no issue in Rwanda deploying troops anywhere on her territory,” he said.
“There’s no problem if Rwanda did anything to protect its territorial security but it has not been done. But I want to assure Rwandans that they are safe.”
Following the closure of the border last Wednesday, Uganda Police has come out to announce increased deployment along the border.
This according to Police spokesman Fred Enanga however, is not because of any direct security threat from Rwanda, but the congestion at the border due to the stranded trucks.
Rwanda has since allowed buses crossing into Uganda from Kigali, but according to reports, these buses face fines as high as $5000 if they are found to be carrying any Rwandan nationals.
The Rwandan government insists its nationals should not go to Uganda because their security there is not guaranteed.
“We are advising Rwandans not to travel to Uganda, but Ugandans and East Africans are free to come to Rwanda, they will be received well, they have been received well and we will continue to do so,” Minister said today.
According to Dr Sezibera, the crisis at the border is a culmination of three long standing issues between Uganda and Rwanda that have remained unresolved, despite two years of deliberations.
He listed these issues as; illegal detention and abduction of Rwandans on Ugandan territory, harboring dissidents with intent to harm Rwanda and sabotaging trade.
According to the Minister, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has since handed over commanders of the FDLR rebel group, who were arrested as they came from Uganda.
These he said included, FDLR spokesman Ignace Nkaka alias LaForge, one Bazeye Fils and Deputy Intelligence Chief Lt Col Nsekenabo Jean Pierre alias Abega Kamala.
These, he said were in good health and “divulging a lot of information.
On the issue of violation of Rwandan human rights by Uganda, the minister noted, that since the start of the year, over 900 Rwandans have been deported from Uganda.
“Much as deporting is Uganda ‘s sovereign right, we have an issue with the due process. You don’t blindfold people, torture them along the way and dump them at the border. That is not how deportations take place as we know. We are not interfering with Uganda’s policies but we want things to be done the way they should be done according to international procedures. We have advised our nationals not to travel to Uganda until these issues are addressed for their own security.”
He added, “We have not received any satisfactory answer to the questions we have put to our Ugandan counterparts at various fora including during a meeting between the two heads of state. We have also written to them severally through diplomatic channels.”
The minister however, reassured that all is being done to restore normalcy.
“Our relationship with Uganda is not at its best currently but all shall be resolved. There are ongoing discussions with our counterparts on a number of issues including illegal detentions of Rwandans in Uganda and supporting armed groups opposed to Rwanda,” he said.
To the groups of people that have been badly hurt by the crisis at the border, Minister Sezibera called for patience.
“Rwandans living in 15 sectors that border Uganda should be patient. We are working closely with local officials to ensure their lives are not disrupted,” he said.