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Rwanda-Uganda Talks in Suspense

The virtual meeting of the ad-hoc committee for the normalisation of relations between Uganda and Rwanda ended on Thursday, June 4 without a position, especially on the opening of the Katuna border point in Kabale District.

The meeting according to diplomatic sources familiar with the matter was supposed to pronounce itself on a tentative plan of reopening the border.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Sam Kutesa chaired the video conference meeting. It was attended by a delegation from Rwanda that was led by Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Mr Vincente Biruta; DR Congo’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Gilbert Kankonde Malamba and Angola’s Minister for External Relations, Mr Tete Antonio.

“Uganda’s stance in the meeting was that the border opens as the issues raised by Kigali are discussed further but Rwanda vehemently shot [the idea] down,” sources told journalists on condition of anonymity.

According to a draft communique, it was subsequently resolved that both Kampala and Kigali continue exchanging information that will allow verification of the allegations made, as well as working towards the fulfilment of paragraph 4 and 5 of the Communiqué of the 4th Quadripartite Heads of State Summit that took place on February 21, 2020.

“130 Rwandans currently held in the Ugandan prisons are set to be released in the coming weeks, Uganda’s Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa has told the 4th Adhoc commission,” the Rwandan state broadcaster tweeted on Thursday.

Relatedly, according to the communique, Kigali also agreed to verify the list of Ugandans allegedly detained in Rwanda and requested Uganda to accord consular visits to the alleged Rwandan nationals detained in Uganda.

“Parties agreed that political will is the cornerstone for normalisation of relations between the two countries and committed to continue to build upon the progress achieved thus far in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding of Luanda, in a climate of mutual trust,” the communique reads in part.