Travelling to Rwanda:MPs task government to issue advisory

Tuesday January 21 2020

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga  

Parliament Tuesday tasked the government to issue a travel advisory to Ugandans who wish to travel to Rwanda, citing recent reports of mistreatment and killing of Ugandan nationals in the neighbouring nation.  

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said during the plenary there is concern that Ugandan nationals who wish to travel to Rwanda are finding it hard because of the sour relationship between the two countries. 

Her statement came after Rukungiri Municipality Member of Parliament (MP), Mr  Roland Mugume, expressed concern about the issue, as a matter of national importance.

Mr Mugume said that it was disappointing that the Uganda-Rwanda boarder at Katuna remains closed which has grossly affected Ugandan traders.

Kira Municipality MP, Mr Ibrahim Semujju Nganda cited the need for government to explain why Ugandans continue to be mistreated and some killed in Rwanda.

He tasked the Government Chief Whip, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa to advise government to clearly tell Ugandans on whether or not to travel to Rwanda, for any reason. 

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A Ugandan, Teojen Ndagijimana, was shot dead on Saturday night by Rwandan security forces in Kumugu Trading Centre in Musanze District inside Rwanda, about three kilometres from the Uganda border.

He is the fourth Ugandan to be shot dead inside Rwanda by Rwandan forces since the Kigali government closed its border with Uganda at Katuna in February last year, stopping movement of goods and people from either country.

In her response, Ms Nankabirwa said government should be given more time to resolve the prevailing issues through ongoing talks.

She promised to consult the relevant ministry concerning the issuance of a travel advisory to Ugandans.

Ms Kadaga directed the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Sam Kutesa, to appear before Parliament and issue a statement on the relationship between the two countries.    

In August 2019, President Museveni met his Rwandan counterpart, Mr Paul Kagame, in Angola, where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding that was intended to resolve the dispute that has persisted for close to one year.

After the event, President Museveni sent Uganda’s United Nations Permanent Representative Ambassador Mr Adonia Ayebare to meet Mr Kagame.

In the aftermath of the meeting, Uganda released nine Rwandans from custody and repatriated them to Kigali. 

Rwanda also released four Ugandans.

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