Government of Rwanda has come out to dismiss as “demonstrably incorrect” claims by Uganda that there are no Rwandan nationals languishing in Uganda cells.
Rwanda says on the contrary that over 40 of its people are being detained at various detention facilities in Uganda.
Ugandan Government spokesman Mr Ofwono Opondo had earlier on Friday claimed, that “there is nobody from Rwanda being held by the Ugandan Authorities for any reason.”
“We would like to send a clear message to Rwanda that there is no one Uganda is harassing from Rwanda or has in custody,” Opondo told press while providing an update on the situation at the border between the two counties.
The border in the south west remained closed on Friday to Rwandans trying to enter Uganda, according to Opondo.
Speaking to the claims by Opondo however, the Rwandan State Minister for Foreign Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe said the Ugandan government mouthpiece wasn’t telling the truth, noting that dozens of Rwandans remain incarcerated by Ugandan security forces.
“This statement is factually and demonstrably incorrect,” Minister Nduhungirehe said, quoting Opondo on Twitter.
“There are more than 40 (Rwandan) citizens languishing in cells of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and more than 800Rwandans who were deported from or refused entry into Uganda since January 2018.”
Tasked by Mr Opondo to “provide details of the detained by name, ID and passport numbers and locations from where they were picked,” Minister Nduhungirehe tweeted a list of 20 of the alleged detainees, saying others names are with the Rwandan High Commission in Kampala.
“The families of the detained are getting worried about the fate of their loves ones,” he added.
Among those on the minister’s list is Rene Rutagungira, a former Rwandan army officer who was arrested by security operatives at a bar in Kampala in August 2017.
Last year he was paraded before the General Court Martial in Makindye, alongside senior Ugandan police officers accused of kidnap and forceful repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Uganda.
Others on the list include Emmanuel Rwamucyo and Augustin Rutayisire, who were arrested in May last year and accused of illegal possession of a fire arms.
The list includes at least 9 people who the minister claims are being detained by the CMI, and dozens others held at unknown places mostly in Kisoro district.
Meanwhile, the situation at the border remained tense through Friday with Rwandan nationals still stranded without permission to cross to Uganda.
“Rwandese aren’t being allowed to travel and enter Uganda but Ugandan nationals are. What is being stopped are only vehicles because of the blockage,” Opondo said today.
Ugandan goods heading to Rwanda had been stopped at the Katuna border, with most being diverted to the Mirama Hills crossing point.