The government of Uganda on Friday rejected knowledge of the leaked details of a newly installed leadership committee of the Rwanda National Congress chapter in Uganda.
“Uganda doesn’t know, host or deal in any way with such a group a fact that has been ably communicated through the appropriate channels to the Government of Rwanda,” a Communiqué reads in part signed by Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director of Uganda Media Centre.
According to this document, which Taarifa has seen, Uganda says it does not harbour any intentions or interests of destabilizing the government of Rwanda.
The statement further notes that the government of Uganda “rejects and disabuse the renewed calculated fabrication by elements yet to be understood claiming that Uganda recently hosted a meeting for purposes of election of a committee of a shadowy rebel outfit, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC).”
Well noted Hon @OfwonoOpondo. Please note the following:
(1) The #LuandaMoU was signed on 21st August 2019, not on 23rd September 2019;
(2) Neither the Luanda MoU nor the Kigali Communiqué of 16th September 2019 mentions the formation of any "Joint Verification Committee". https://t.co/MewzvLiejk
— Amb. Olivier J.P. Nduhungirehe (@onduhungirehe) November 22, 2019
The is happening amidst deteriorating diplomatic relationship between Rwanda and Uganda since February 2019, which has turned frosty, leading to the closure of the Gatuna border and a travel advisory cautioning Rwandans from travelling to Uganda.
Uganda is accused of arbitrary arrest and detention of Rwandans, subjecting them to crude torture and denying them access to consular services.
Last week, a leaked letter circulated on social media platforms, generating deeper discussions about the strained relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
Contents of this letter, according to an online platform, Virunga, were written by someone identified as Charles Lwanga, informing his colleague Jerome Nayigiziki, announcing that they had established a ‘Uganda Province’ cell composed of 15 members as the cell executive committee.
“After many years of the province of Uganda operating without a coordination organ, convened a two days meeting from 12-13th November 2019 in Kampala in which a provincial executive committee was elected to direct and coordinate the work of RNC in Uganda,” says the letter signed by Lwanga on November 13, 2019.
The committee is led by Pastor Deo Nyirigira (the coordinator), who, through his Mbarara-based church AGAPE, has for years been the chief recruiter for RNC.
Although the RNC terror group letter clearly states what its members are and assembled without permission of the host country police, the Uganda government has not indicated in its letter why it has not apprehended members of this group.
By mentioning that Uganda has no interest in destabilizing Rwanda, it can only be taken serious by arresting and prosecuting the said members of this terror group which Uganda is well aware it threatens the Security of its southern neighbour- Rwanda.
However, Uganda acknowledges it has unresolved issues with Rwanda and as claimed in the letter would prefer to pursue diplomatic channels to fix the existing issues.
“Uganda will not be distracted by any provocative malicious propaganda in the media because it believes that the bilateral and diplomatic channels available will resolve any possible misunderstanding,” the letter said.
Rwanda and Uganda are currently waiting for a date yet to be set by Uganda as part of followup meetings pushing for the implementation of the Angola Friendship Agreement. Recently, Uganda communicated an extension date through media and Kigali learnt of it through the media.
Uganda has on many occasions leaked letters shared by Rwanda through diplomatic channels but within no seconds of acknowledgement of receipt, the Ugandan media publishes them. Uganda has also abused these channels it eagerly prefers to use but has for example used the media to communicate postponement of meetings instead of informing Rwanda appropriately.
Rwanda has not at any moment leaked any communiqué to media in relation to the ongoing back and forth engagements between the two countries.
For example Rwanda said a member of East African community bloc had written to President Paul Kagame (chairperson of EAC) requesting for postponement of the EAC Heads of State Summit that was scheduled next week.
Interestingly Uganda has not in any way leaked its communiqué regarding other countries it equally has unsettled issues such as Democratic Republic of Congo both expected to report to the International Court of Justice.
The hearing was slated for November 18-22nd but was pushed to another date upon request by a joint letter written by Uganda and DRC and Uganda Media has remained silent about this case.
However, Rwanda accommodates any decisions Uganda takes on whether to meet or not. Rwanda still allows Ugandans to enter and trade in Uganda as long as they use gazetted border points. But more Rwandans are being arrested and detained in Uganda while some are dumped at the border in the middle of the nights.