Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, Friday briefed the diplomatic corps on the status of the Uganda-Rwanda relations.
Briefing diplomatic corps in Kampala on the status of the now frosty relations, Hon. Kutesa outlined the state rimes Uganda accuse Rwanda of including acts of international aggression, terrorism and assassination of some high profile Uganda officials among others.
Kutesa said Rwandan security operatives have been entering the country without permission, a move that could have put the security of citizens at risk.
“A number of Rwandan security operatives have been entering Uganda without following laid down procedures governing the entry of security personnel into the country,” said Kutesa, explaining that Uganda has been a target and victim of terrorist attacks; including assassinations of Moslem sheiks and senior government officials and that the government of Uganda takes seriously its duty and obligation to protect the security of its citizens and its borders.
The crimes outlined in the dossier seen by TheUgandan if true, entitle Uganda to United Nations Charter Article 51 remedy. Article 51 states; “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
Though both countries have mobilized special forces for deployment along their borders, the crimes outlined in latest dossier entitle Uganda to the UN Charter. What is not known is whether Uganda would individually or collectively with friendly countries like Burundi take the Article 51 route.
Kutesa said Uganda has been and continues to champion closer collaboration and coordination within regional frameworks.
Kutesa’s latest statement, clarifying on Uganda’s relations with Rwanda follows an uproar triggered by the closure of the Gatuna border by Rwanda government. Rwanda claimed that it closed the border so as to upgrade the one stop border post. Rwanda said the upgrading works may go on until late May. Rwanda government diverted cargo trucks to and use Mirama hill border in Ntungamo district , creating a trade standoff hurting exporters. The Rwandan government has also gone ahead to block its nationals, including students from crossing to Uganda, fining buses up to $5,000 if they are caught with a Rwandan passenger aboard.
According to Bank of Uganda, earnings from Rwanda fell to $2.64m (Shs9.9b) in March down from $14.51m (Shs54.7b) in February.
This was the lowest Uganda has earned from one of its key trade partners since July 2006 when Rwanda was recovering from the aftermath of a debilitating civil war.
Uganda had in January and December, before the standoff, earned $16.96m (Shs63.9b) and $16.90m (Shs63.7b), respectively at the time when tensions between the two countries had started to build.
The border has now been closed to Ugandan traders for close to three months now.