Uganda releases 12 more Rwandans

Authorities in Uganda on Tuesday released 12 more Rwandan nationals bringing the total number of Rwandans released from detention in…

Authorities in Uganda on Tuesday released 12 more Rwandan nationals bringing the total number of Rwandans released from detention in Uganda to 132, after 120 others were released in June this year.The  release follows a teleconference meeting between the two high diplomatic  officials from both countries in May this year whereby the  Uganda’s  Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa said that Uganda would release 130  Rwandans  while another 310 will remain in Uganda to face charges in  courts of law.

Rwanda maintains that there are hundreds more of  Rwandans who are still detained in Uganda without trial and are denied  their legal right including visits while they are subjected to torture  by security organs.

Upon arrival at Kagitumba border crossing  earlier Tuesday, the group of released Rwandan nationals were handed  face masks and taken through the immigration process. They will be  tested and quarantined for the compulsory 14 days in line with measures  to prevent the spread of New Coronavirus.

Commenting on the move  during a press briefing last month, Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister,   Dr Vincent Biruta stressed that Rwanda emphasized key concerns to  Uganda, mainly rotating around Rwandans who continue to be arrested,  tortured and detained incommunicado in Uganda.

“As you might  be aware, we have raised these issues with Uganda on different  occasions, including the continued arrest and torture of Rwandans who  are held in unknown detentions, sometimes releasing them after a long  time,” the top Rwandan diplomat said.

In february this year,  Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the Presidents of Angola and DR Congo  and Uganda held talks at Gatuna border crossing between  Uganda and  Rwanda where the fourth Quadripartite Heads of State Summit took place.

The  talks build on a memorandum of understanding that was signed in Angola  in August last year to end the dispute that prompted both countries to  accuse the other of spying, political assassinations and meddling. The  tensions had also prompted Rwanda to close the border with its northern  neighbor.

Frosty relations between the two countries became more  pronounced in February 2019, when Rwanda issued a travel advisory  strongly warning its citizens against travelling to Uganda.

Rwandan   also accuses Uganda of offering succour to two foreign-based Rwanda  rebel groups – Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Democratic Forces for  the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The RNC is a rebel group led by  some of Rwanda’s most prominent dissidents including South africa-based  renegade officer of the Rwandan army Kayumba Nyamwasa.

The FDLR  is a rebel group composed in part of former Rwandan soldiers and Hutu  militias who fled into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after  massacring more than one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus during  Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.