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Rwanda – Uganda: what to learn from the resumption of talks?

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It is a new turning point in the resolution of the conflict between Rwanda and Uganda. These two countries resumed talks on June 4 with a view to reflecting on the consolidation of their relations, which have been weakened by mutual accusations of destabilization. According to Dr. Vincent Biruta, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the issue of the detention of Rwandans in Uganda and evaluation of progress in the implementation of the resolutions of the 4 th Summit of Heads of State quadripartite at the Gatuna border, last February, were at the center of these virtual meetings held under the facilitation of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At a restitution press conference, the Rwandan minister was indignant at the continuing arrests and the torture of Rwandan citizens in detention in Uganda, a behavior he described as lack of political will on the part of the Museveni regime : “We have raised these issues with Uganda on several occasions, including the arrest and continued torture of Rwandans in detention (…). We concluded that there is still a lot to do in Uganda if relations between the two countries are to return to normal. ”

Regarding the detention of 130 Rwandan citizens in Uganda, Dr Biruta nonetheless indicates that Uganda has committed to release some of them, as of next week: “There are other problems than we have raised and on which they must work harder, mainly the aggressive media campaign against Rwanda and the arrests which have not stopped, although they plan to release some people next week. We must have political will, otherwise we will not go anywhere. We agreed that there was a need for political will on both sides. ”

Indeed, apart from the return of Kigali, other details of the 5 th summit have not filtered, however, some indiscretions suggest that Uganda, through its Foreign Minister, Sam Kahamba, allegedly promised the release of these 130 detainees and the continued detention of 310 other Rwandan nationals charged with capital offenses.

As a reminder, since last year, Rwanda and Uganda have been living at loggerheads. Basically, the regime of Paul Kagame accuses Kampala of kidnapping its citizens and supporting the rebel movements to overthrow the government in power. For its part, the Museveni regime accuses its neighbor of having spied on certain members of its government. A conflict that undermines the peace process and the momentum of the economic system in the East African region.

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