Rwanda calls off second border closure meeting

Thursday November 14 2019

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (left) with his Rwandan count

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (left) with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame after signing an MoU to end the hostility between the two countries in Luanda, Angola, on August 21, 2019. NMG PHOTO  

By URN

The second meeting between Uganda and Rwanda to address the closure of the Uganda- Rwanda border at Gatuna early this year, has been called off.

According to the Uganda government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, the meeting was called off at the request of Kigali.

“The media is hereby informed that the Second meeting of the Adhoc Commission on Luanda MoU btwn #Uganda and #Rwanda scheduled for November 18, 2019 in Kampala has been postponed at the request of Rwanda. A new date will be communicated,” Mr Opondo tweeted on Thursday.

The meeting, which would have been a follow-up to the Kigali meeting on September 16, was supposed to take place after 30 days that is on October 16, 2019.

Now that the November date has also been cancelled, it leaves everything uncertain as to when leaders of the two countries would meet.

Kigali said then that it was waiting for an invitation from Kampala which never came.

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The second meeting was specifically expected to help resolve the border closure, which has been shut since February 2019.

Trade between Uganda and Rwanda has fallen sharply.

On Saturday, two Uganda businessmen; Job Ebyarishaga and Bosco Tuhirwe were killed inside Rwanda and the Kigali administration said they were smuggling tobacco into its territory.

But Kampala didn’t take the incident lightly. The government wrote a protest letter this week against the killing of its people and asked for a joint investigation into the said murders and that the perpetrators are held accountable.

On Thursday, before Mr Opondo’s communication,  President Kagame spoke in Rwanda sending veiled barbs to the country’s "enemies" saying they [Rwandans] were “going to raise the cost on the part of anybody who wants to destabilise our security. The cost is going to be very high".

“For those who are involved, you'll have to come clean. You can't be here benefiting from the peace and security that we have paid for in blood and then do things that cause us problems. We will put you where you belong,” he said.

 

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