Uganda commits to releasing Rwandan nationals

President Paul Kagame with his counterparts Yoweri Museveni of Uganda (left), João Lourenço of Angola (second left) and Félix Tshisekedi of DR Congo. The heads of state agreed on five key resolutions as part of the efforts to normalize ties between Rwanda and Uganda. / Village Urugwiro

The third Quadripartite summit resolved that Uganda and Rwanda would release nationals of each country held and lists were submitted to facilitate the objective. The summit hosted by President Lourenço was also attended by President Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo and President Museveni.

Whereas no Ugandan is known to be in the custody of Rwanda, hundreds of Rwandans are being held in Uganda without consular access or legal representation while others have since been deported after spending months in Ugandan jails, mostly ungazetted, where they have said they were tortured.

Some of those who were dumped at the border after lengthy detention by Ugandan security have died, succumbing to torture.

The summit also agreed that the two countries should refrain from the actions that could create a perception of supporting destabilising forces such as financing, training and infiltration.

Rwanda has provided evidence of Uganda supporting elements with ambitions to destabilise Rwanda, which was later confirmed by a UN Group of Experts Report released in December 2018.

The meeting also resolved to hold the next Quadripartite Summit at the Gatuna border on February 21. The next summit will aim to evaluate the progress of the agreed-upon resolutions.

The next Quadripartite Summit will be held at the Gatuna border on February 21. / File

Meanwhile, the heads of state also called on Uganda and Rwanda to protect and respect the rights and freedoms of nationals of the other party.

According to a joint communique issued after the meeting, it was also agreed, that the Ad-hoc commission for the implementation of the MoU set up last year would remain as a mechanism for monitoring and implementation.

The committee among other officials includes ministers for internal administration and heads of intelligence.

In a tweet following the meeting, Olivier Nduhungirehe, Minister of State in Charge of the East African Community said:

“The next Quadripartite Summit will be preceded by a meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission to assess the implementation of decisions mentioned....mainly the release of Rwandan citizens illegally detained in Uganda and the end of any support to anti-#Rwanda armed groups.”

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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