President Yoweri Museveni has expressed sympathy with Ugandans and Rwandans that have been negatively affected by the closure of Katuna border calling for patience as a lasting solution is being sought for the problem.
The President made the comments while speaking to Ugandans who had gathered at the border post waiting for the outcome of the summit, expressed optimism that with the independent facilitators from Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the truth will come out because the NRM government stands for the truth.
The 4th quadripartite meeting by the heads of states of Uganda, Rwanda, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo ended with Uganda and Rwanda signing an extradition treaty in line with the 3rd quadripartite summit held in Luanda Angola.
Ugandan foreign Minister Sam Kutesa signed on behalf of Uganda while Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta signed on behalf of Rwanda.
The extradition treaty constitutes among others the legal framework to handle cases of justice including those related to subversive activities practiced by either Nationals in the territory of the other party.
In the communiqué read by the Angola foreign minister at the end of the day long summit, the heads of states expressed gratitude at the progress that has been registered regarding the commitment by Uganda and Rwanda to eliminate the tension factor between the two countries. They particularly hailed the release of prisoners from both sides and the guarantee to continue this process in observance of the rule of law and the international humanitarian laws.
The summit further recommended that the Republic of Uganda should within a month verify allegations by the Republic of Rwanda about actions by forces hostile to Rwanda working from the Ugandan territory and if found to be true, Uganda government will take all measures to stop it and prevent it from happening in future.
The summit also recommended the verification and confirmation of the allegation by Rwanda must be done by the Ad-hoc ministerial commission for the implementation of the memorandum of understanding of Luanda.
The summit further observed that once the above recommendation is fulfilled and reported to the heads of states, the facilitators will convene a summit in 15 days at Katuna for the opening of the border and the subsequent normalisation of the relationship between the two countries.
President Yoweri Museveni and President Kagame commended President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco of Angola and President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo for their dedication and for always being available in search for a peaceful solution in the framework of reconciliation between the two sister countries.
During several stop-overs at Katuna town and Kabale municipality, Museveni told Ugandans that the closure of the Rwanda border emanated from the internal conflicts in Rwanda especially within the RPF ranks when some members of RPF disagreed with the Rwanda government and majority took refuge in South Africa.
However Museveni said that the Rwandan government thinks that some of them reside in Uganda, an allegation he said was false adding that those arrested by the Ugandan government were handed to them (Rwanda) and government was not aware of the presence of such people on Ugandan territory.
He added that for the case of Rwandan citizens that were arrested in Uganda for cases such as espionage and kidnap of people on the Ugandan soil, he has instructed for their pardon and immediate release. However, he said those arrested for crimes such as murder and rape will have to face trial in accordance with the Ugandan laws.