Uganda’s Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said on 1 March 2019 that Rwanda was maintaining a blockade on its border with Uganda, denying her citizens permission to cross to Uganda.
First and foremost, this is a naked lie as Rwanda hasn’t at any point blocked movements of goods or people on her border with Uganda. As stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, the only thing that Rwanda did was to advise her citizens to avoid travelling to Uganda due the ongoing arbitrary arrests, harassment and torture, adding that heavy trucks are advised to use Kagitumba or Cyanika borders due to ongoing construction works at Gatuna One Stop Border Post (OSBP).
The current overbearing behavior by Uganda to dramatize actions taken by Rwanda and deliberate distortion of intent is irritating. Contrary to the claims by Uganda that Rwanda has blocked her citizens from traveling to Rwanda, the latter has only issued a travel advisory to her citizens to travel to Uganda at their own risk given the current arrests and torture targeting Rwandan nationals. One wonders what action any responsible country would take in a situation where her citizens traveling to a neighboring country are arrested and kept incommunicado without any explanation? Besides, Rwanda has every legitimate right to advise her citizens as she may wish. It is also interesting to note that besides all the provocations by Uganda, Rwanda has remained courteous and all Ugandans remain free to travel to Rwanda without any problem and no single Ugandan has been so far arrested in Rwanda.
As a result of panic due to serious and overwhelming evidence linking Uganda to Rwandan subversive groups following the revelations by FDLR’s La Forge Fils Bazeye and Lt. Col Abega relating to Uganda’s unwavering support to FDLR and RNC and subsequent UNGoE report confirming the support, Uganda has been on the offensive trying to fabricate all counts of charges against Rwanda while portraying herself as a victim of Rwanda’s malevolent intentions. An insider working in Uganda’s security organs revealed to The Great Lakes Eye that Uganda is struggling to build a case against Rwanda including allegations related to espionage and kidnappings in order to portray her as a bad neighbor thereby diverting the attention of the international community.
Besides, The Great Lakes Eye thinks that Rwanda has every legitimate reason to spy against the activities of Rwandan subversive groups operating in Uganda and this doesn’t necessarily mean that Rwanda would be spying on Uganda. In order to avoid that, the Government of Uganda should instead stop supporting these negative groups otherwise they should not expect Rwanda to sit and watch while her enemies are actively being supported by Uganda to attack the country.
It is important to note that in addition to over 40 Rwandans currently languishing in Ugandan prisons, more other Rwandese are still being arrested. On 24 Feb. 19, it was reported that Rwandans traveling to the South Western district of Kisoro were being pulled out of cars and buses and getting arrested and detained by Uganda security forces. The arrests were being made by the Uganda Police in conjunction with the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) along the Kisoro-Kabale road.
Besides the continued arrests of Rwandans and open support to Rwanda’s subversive groups by Uganda, the country has been involved in a series of hostile activities aimed at regime change in Rwanda. To understand how low the Ugandan Government has gone, her Immigration Department recently posted on its borders with Rwanda posters (picture below) encouraging Rwandans to seek refuge in Uganda. It is worth noting that such provocative acts have been going on for some time but Rwanda has been cautious not to retaliate.
It is unfortunate that instead of looking for a sustainable solution to the current problems between the two countries, Uganda appears motivated to escalate the situation and one wonders whose interests such behavior is serving.