The relations between Uganda and Rwanda have been running hot and cold for quite a long time.
In 2017, the souring correlation between the two neigbouring countries forced Rwanda to write at least two diplomatic notes to Uganda.
The notes highlighted concerns including the “arbitrary arrest and torture of Rwandans in Uganda,” and allegations that Uganda hosted “negative groups” plotting to destabilise Rwanda.
On the other hand, Uganda accuses Kigali of deploying spies in the country and infiltrating security organs.
A meeting between Presidents Museveni and Kagame in Entebbe in March last year did little to defuse tensions between the two countries.
However, in an interview with the East African newspaper this week, Kagame has accused a group of Rwandans living in South Africa to be some of the negative forces catalyzing the countries’ souring relations.
He said some of the wrong things believed by Uganda about Rwanda originate from these individuals.
“Even logically, you try to understand it these individuals in South Africa plotting all kinds of things against us are the ones giving information to Uganda in a way to solicit support from Uganda against us. Whether accurate or not, the information is designed to create that problem from which they benefit. If Uganda believes in some of these things, it is because they made a choice to believe in them. We have raised these matters to Uganda, that when they are given information, it is because those people want to buy Uganda’s support,” he said.
When asked whether things between Rwanda and Uganda are getting worse or improving given the strong history between them, Kagame noted that, “It is very intriguing, to find that, even with that history and a good foundation we have something like this going on. And it goes on everyday, even as we speak. It is hard to just put it in one word, or even a few words. All I can say is that it’s a matter that can be resolved. That must be resolved. Because the alternative is not something that we should even be thinking about, or entertaining, that we can stand in the way of our own progress or the progress of all East Africans.
“Because we have made so many pronunciations, we’ve made statements. When it comes to optics, to the microphones, we are saying the best things and the right things. But we should make an effort to do those things, not just say them. It doesn’t hurt anyone to keep on trying. What hurts is keeping quiet. And of course things are not improving because of that. Because we’re not doing much. We have had discussions over this for two years, we can resolve them whether it is egos or just wishing that things should be bad.”
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