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Rwanda-Uganda row: Kigali says it will not retaliate

Rwanda hopes that the frosty relation with Uganda will be resolved soon citing deep historical ties between the two countries as reason not to retaliate.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and government spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, said on Tuesday that Kigali was concerned about continued mistreatment of Rwandans in Uganda despite the presidents meeting to discuss the issues.

“When something like this happens to countries, we try to talk as leaders to resolve these issues. President [Paul] Kagame met his Ugandan counterpart [Yoweri Museveni] in Ethiopia on the sidelines of the African Union summit and discussed the issues. What we want is to see these issues resolved because there no reasons Rwandans should continue to be mistreated as we have seen in Uganda,” Ms Mushikiwabo said.

Kigali accuses Kampala of illegal detention and torture of its citizens and harbouring dissents intent on destabilising Rwanda. Uganda, however, says those arrested were suspected of being spies.

“We cannot mistreat Ugandans, they are our relatives, we share a lot; we share history, we share blood. Many Ugandans are our relatives. To us that is very important.

“We don’t wish to see any Ugandan face problems in Rwanda. I believe there is no problem without a solution. We will continue talking and try to understand each other on these issues,” she said.

Tensions between the two neighbouring countries have been building since last October, and talks between the leaders do not seem to bearing much fruit.

Ms Mushikiwabo admitted that several projects along the Northern Corridor — the main trade route linking Kenya’s port of Mombasa to landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern DR Congo and South Sudan — have stalled, attributing the delays to political developments in partner states.

She also cited elections in Uganda and Kenya, and conflict in South Sudan but said political will was there to fast-track infrastructure projects.

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