Parliament- Uganda is using diplomatic means to resolve the border standoff with her neighbour Rwanda, State Minister for International Affairs has said.
Mr Henry Okello Oryem was Tuesday appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee this afternoon to present the ministry budget requirements for the Financial Year 2019/20.
Without providing details, the Minister said: “We have an issue with the government of Rwanda and it is not a major issue. We believe that this is an issue that can be addressed using normal processes…”
“We are trying to use diplomatic approach to resolve the matter…. As far as we are concerned, our borders remain open to all Rwandans who come here for trade and even visit their relatives.”
The minister however, warned that any Rwandan who attempts to disrupt the peace in Uganda will be handled in accordance with the law.
“They are free to come and trade and even visit their relatives….But whoever comes here must respect the laws of Uganda, no one will be spared when he or she violate the laws of this country,” Mr Oryem said.
The minister was responding to a question from Mbale Municipality MP Jack Wamai Wamanga’s on the steps the Uganda government is taking to try and resolve the diplomatic row. The MP who spoke on behalf of other committee members wondered why the disputed had persisted without a solution and talked of suffering business community from both sides.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame mid-February confirmed in an interview with The East African newspaper of the Nation Media Group that the two countries have had tensions for two years.
Mr Kagame, who is the current chairman of the East African Community (EAC) after taking over from President Museveni, said what is happening between the two countries are matters that can be resolved but decried the many pronouncements without actions.
Although Mr Oryem told MPs that the government was trying to resolve the standoff using approaches, the government owned Newspaper- the New Vision today that Ugandan truck, loaded with cargo were held in Kigali for two months without explanation and sent back to Kampala. The trucks had carried cement from Uganda to Rwanda. The authorities in Kigali have also blocked their citizens from coming to Uganda