A Rwandan crossing into Uganda or Burundi does so with caution.
For any Rwandan ready to dare the risks, the stakes must be high.
The two neighboring countries have become some of the most dangerous places for Rwandans to be.
Several Rwandans have been killed, some kidnapped and tortured, others harassed and denied rights.
Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera, has said that the stalled relationship between Rwanda and the two sister countries has nothing to do with Rwanda.
For Burundi, he said, “as far as we are concerned, when Burundi is ready for a healthy relationship with us, we will be ready.”
Indeed, he said, “the relations between Rwanda and Burundi are not good,” adding that the sour relations are driven by Burundi’s internal issues and that the country should not try to drag Rwanda into its internal issues.
On the side of Uganda, Dr Sezibera, who was addressing a press conference for the first time since he assumed office, replacing Louise Mushikiwabo, said that the ties are not good too.
“The relationship is not good, not as we wish,” he said. “We would like it to improve.”
He said Uganda and Rwanda have known issues that are not resolved yet.
“We have Rwandans who go to Uganda and get harmed,” he said. “We also have Rwandans based in Uganda with intention to destabilise Rwandan and we have traders who faces problems why trying to transit goods through Uganda. These are existing problems we would like to see resolved.”
Again, he said, “We are not responsible for these problems.”