President Yoweri Museveni has said that the current diplomatic strife between Uganda and Rwanda stemmed from the misunderstandings that arose within the Rwanda Patriotic Front’s (RPF) ranks.
Museveni said that the tiff between the two neighboring countries which resulted from the closure of the Katuna 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.
He however said that the Rwanda government says that some of them reside in Uganda, an allegation he said was not true.
Museveni said this Friday in Kabale district where he addressed locals during several stop-overs after his meeting with Rwandan President, Paul Kagame.
The two leaders met for the 4th quadripartite summit held at the Katuna border point. The summit was facilitated by the Angolan and Democratic Republic of Congo Presidents.
At the Summit, Rwanda and Uganda signed an extradition treaty in line with 3rd quadripartite summit held in Luanda Angola.
The extradition treaty constitutes among others the legal framework to handle repatriation of suspected criminals including those related to subversive activities practiced by either nationals in the territory of the other party.
Later, Museveni spoke to hundreds of Ugandans who had gathered to wait for the President at Katuna town and Kabale municipality, explaining what led to the closure of the Rwanda border.
He said that those that the government of Uganda arrested were handed to 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 had 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 laws of Uganda.
He expressed sympathy to the citizens of Uganda and Rwanda that have been affected by the closure of the Katuna border and called for patience, saying a lasting solution is being sought to solve the problem.
Museveni 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.
A number of Rwandans living in Uganda expressed disappointment at President Museveni signing of an extradition treaty with President Kagame. They say their lives will be in danger if they are handed over to Rwanda whenever the Kigali government demands for the repatriation of some of them.