For the last couple of years, relations between Rwanda and Uganda have continued to deteriorate, with scores of Rwandans arbitrary arrested, detained, tortured and refused consular visits.
To make things worse, anti-Rwanda elements were operating openly on Ugandan soil with the full logistical and material support from Ugandan security services.
The issues were raised several times with Ugandan authorities, many going on record to blatantly refute all accusations, only for them to dump severely battered Rwandans at the border. More are still languishing in Ugandan jails.
Now some of the victims of the brutality have had enough of the diplomatic tender footedness and taken matters into their own hands. They have decided to take the only avenue they can do something about and opted to go to court, and not any ordinary court, but the East African Court of Justice.
It must have taken some courage to take on a behemoth, as most of those affected are simple peasants, but that was the only avenue open to them. Now it is just a matter of sitting back and waiting. Will they receive the justice they demand?
Will Uganda, that has been adept at hiding its head in the sand toe the line and obey the courts’ orders if found to be in the wrong? There is a very big question mark because for one who obstinately denies any wrongdoing, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, it is really difficult to see how they will bend to the rule of law.
But going to court was the right thing because the victims will have a chance to recount the ordeals they went through, and that is some form of therapy.