No Agreement Following Talks on Cross-Border Issues Between Uganda and Rwanda

KAMPALA, UGANDA - Ugandan and Rwandan officials failed to reach agreement Saturday on most of the contentious issues between them: mutual allegations of destabilizing actions, protection of the rights and freedoms of each other's nationals, and resumption of cross-border activities.

After failing to find a resolution after eight hours of closed-door meetings, the matters will now be referred back to the respective heads of state.

"The armed groups that are operating here in Uganda and are getting support," said Rwanda's foreign affairs minister, Olivier Nduhungirehe. "We have discussed and we have provided information, we have provided names. We have also addressed the issue of Rwandans who are arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained and also tortured in this country."

Uganda's foreign minister, Sam Kutesa, responded to those allegations and listed some of Uganda's own grievances against its neighbor.

"Issues like attempts to infiltrate our security agencies," Kutesa said. "Issues like the closure of the border by Rwanda. We also talked about Rwandans who have been arrested here for illegal activities and some of them deported. For Uganda, clearly, we shall never support any force destabilizes or intends to destabilize our neighbors including Rwanda."

While Rwanda expressed hope that the issues can be resolved in good faith and good will, Uganda said it hoped for truth and trust.

The presidents of Rwanda and Uganda signed a memorandum of understanding in August in Angola in which they agreed to work toward a cease-fire along their mutual border.

Saturday's meeting was overseen by officials from the DR Congo and Angola led by Angola's Foreign Affairs Minister Manuel Domingos Augusto who was hopeful the crisis will be resolved.

"We are confident that out two sister countries have all the necessary conditions to make this dialogue a success story," he said, "given the important role that both countries have in the geopolitical balance of the subregion."

The foreign ministers agreed to pass the issues to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Rwandan President Paul Kagame to decide and find a way forward.

Source: Voice of America