The second meeting between Uganda and Rwanda to address the border closure issue has been called off.
According to the Uganda government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo, the meeting was called off at the request of Kigali. Ofwono said via his Twitter handle that “the media is hereby informed that the second meeting of the Adhoc Commission on Luanda MoU between Uganda and Rwanda scheduled for November 18, 2019, in Kampala has been postponed at the request of Rwanda.”
The meeting, which would have been a follow-up to the Kigali meeting of September 16, was supposed to take place after 30 days – on October 16, 2019, but the date passed quietly. Now that the November date has been cancelled, it leaves everything uncertain as to when both countries would meet.
Kigali said then that it was waiting for an invitation from Kampala which never came. The second meeting was specifically expected to help resolve the Gatuna border closure, which has been shut since February 2019.
Trade between Uganda and Rwanda has fallen to near zero. The call-off comes after Uganda’s protest note to Rwanda over the shooting dead of two Ugandans; Job Ebyarishaga and Bosco Tuhirwe, who were accused of smuggling tobacco into Rwanda. Uganda called the shootings “reckless” and demanded for a joint investigation so as to bring the perpetrators to account.
On Thursday, President Paul Kagame sent a stern warning to those seeking to destabilise Rwand,a saying that he was ready to raise the stakes to protect Rwandans
Kagame was speaking at a ceremony to swear in new cabinet members and senior military officials at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura, on Thursday.
Kagame said that Rwandans have reached a time where they can take security for granted adding that it will continue to be the case.
“Where we are today, we have taken security more or less for granted…We will continue to take it for granted by any means,” the President said.
“We are going to raise the cost on the part of anybody who wants to destabilise our security. The cost is going to be very high, whether it is the means we are going to put into that to make sure we have everything it takes to ensure security and stability of our country and our development. It is also the cost, mainly that those people who want to destabilise our country are going to incur, it is going to be a very high cost on their part. Absolutely. I mean it and you know that I mean it,” Kagame added.
These barbs are seen to be directed at Uganda.
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