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Uganda, Rwanda Talks to Resume on June 4 via Video-conference

Uganda and Rwanda will this week set to resume talks aimed at addressing their differences which continue to hurt cross border movement of people and trade.

The talks will be held via video conferencing on Thursday, June 4.

“It’s a continuation of the meeting which took place at Katuna,” said Uganda Foreign Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary, Amb Patrick Mugoya in a telephone interview with ChimpReports on Tuesday morning.

Asked what’s on the agenda, Mugoya responded: “Rwanda accuses us of some things. We also accuse them of some things. So, this is a continuation of the discussion under the mediation of Angola.”

President Museveni of Uganda and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame of Rwanda on February 21 agreed on the parameters for the reopening of the Katuna/Gatuna border, which has been closed since early 2019.

The border was supposed to be reopened for all Ugandan trucks two weeks after Uganda had completed investigations and verification of the allegations of activities by Rwandan dissidents operating within the Ugandan territory.

However, this didn’t happen as the last meeting to facilitate the full reopening of the border was cancelled at the last minute due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

ChimpReports understands that not all Ugandan trucks are blocked at Katuna border.

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Some of the vehicles carrying cement, food and other essential items are usually allowed to cross to Rwanda.

Ugandans are also allowed to travel to Rwanda via the designated border points.

However, Rwandans are not allowed to cross to Uganda.

The Rwandan authorities said their people were being harassed by security services Uganda, a claim Kampala vehemently denied.

Uganda said it was only arresting suspected criminals.

Rwanda’s travel ban affected thousands of Rwandans who were receiving education or doing business in Uganda.

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta recently said both governments would use video-conference facilities to continue the discussions aimed at resolving outstanding differences.

“We have been talking to Uganda and Angola, particularly, assessing how we can continue with the talks using modern technology which can allow the Ad Hoc Commission to meet again and agree on what we can address among the resolutions we agreed on in the meantime as we wait for travel to be possible,” said Biruta.

“… The release of Rwandans who are detained is a good signal. It is a positive signal that shows that we do much better,” he emphasised.

It is understood that arrests of Rwandans suspected of being involved in subversive activities in Uganda has since subsided and organisations of suspected supporters of Rwandan opposition parties have been closed.

Uganda’s Senior Presidential advisor Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba recently tweeted that “The relationship between Uganda and Rwanda is beyond normal state to state relations. We are one family! No one can break the historical bonds because they are from Almighty God! We shall always be brothers and sisters. Our two great leaders shall repair the relationship.”

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