Editorial: Ever wonder why Uganda-Rwanda talks move at a snail’s pace?

Yesterday, many world leaders converged in Jerusalem, Israel, to mark the 75th anniversary since the liberation of the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp where many Jews were exterminated during World War 2.

In attendance was Prince Charles and in his remarks, one might have been tempted to think he had read a tweet by a one, Philemon Mateke, a 78-year-old Ugandan junior minister of Foreign Affairs who has been a key player and stumbling block in the talks to normalize relations between Uganda and Rwanda. Now his tweet finally outs him.

 

After the body of a Ugandan smuggler who was shot at an illegal border crossing was returned, Mateke could not hold back.

 

“I warned colleagues that nothing good comes from signing a pact with the devil. Appeasement didn’t work for Chamberlain in 1938, and it won’t work for us. We release their criminals, and they repay by shooting our citizens like dogs! Time to respond to this condescending behavior,” he tweeted.

 

Unbelievable, but he said it. It was as if a lump had gotten stuck in his throats and he finally gets rid of it. Phew!

Well to quote Prince Charles: “Words are used as badges of shame to mark others as enemies, to brand those who are different as somehow deviant.

“All too often, virtue seems to be sought through verbal violence. All too often, real violence ensues, and acts of unspeakable cruelty are still perpetrated around the world against people for reasons of their religion, their race or their beliefs”.

It is well-known where Mateke allegiance lies so stooping down to his level would be even more toxic.

“And we must never rest in seeking to create mutual understanding and respect,” but that could be too much for a diplomat who still seems is stuck in 1938.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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