Since the signing of the Luanda MoU, the anti-Rwanda propaganda has been in overdrive screaming ‘open the border’ as they desperately trying to illustrate that Rwanda has not honored the MoU.
From NewVision to CommandPost, to Facebook CMI sponsored pages and accounts (Gakwerere, Serura, Sulah Wa Kabirigi, etc) all one reads is that the border is not yet open and therefore Rwanda is negating on its side of the MoU. These rants are all over the place, with the border erroneously being used as a barometer.
It is as if a Malaria patient rumbled about his fever without considering the infectious parasite load in their bloodstream. They are deliberately confusing the cause and effect something well disseminated in the MoU. There are valid reasons as to why Rwandans are not traveling to Uganda, the MoU attempts to address that prior to carefully stating that the border would be opened ‘as soon as possible’ – as opposed to stating immediately.
The principal cause of the border issue is simple, Ugandan is not safe for Rwandans as a result of a hostile policy adopted by the Ugandan regime. Uganda harbors, support, finances and trains Anti-Rwanda groups. There is ample proof for this cold fact. It be the FDLR officials were apprehended in Congo from a meeting in Kampala, or issuing passports to FDLR and RNC officials to travel on, or even the recent revelations of one Callixte Nsabimana (FLN Leader arrested) in court; the evidence of Ugandan support to anti-Rwanda forces is overwhelming.
With regard to RNC, their support is so blunt that even President Museveni writes about meeting their officials. RNC leaders are openly traveling and residing in Uganda and even offer interviews in state-owned media. The RNC principal sponsor, Rujugiro, transacts and sets up businesses in Uganda and goes further to make the President of Uganda’s brother a shareholder.
The situation becomes even more dangerous with evidence that the RNC is given much more than logistical and financial support, in Uganda, RNC was granted the power to arrest and torture. In conjunction with Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI and ISO), RNC arrests, tortures and dumps innocent Rwandans at the border on a daily basis.
The MoU, recognizing this fact, states clearly that rights and freedoms of nationals in transit or residing in the other party territory. Whereas Ugandans residing in Rwanda have all their rights, Rwandans residing in Uganda have no rights. The moment the RNC points a finger to a Rwandan, usually because the individual refused to join them, Ugandan Intelligence pounce on the Rwandan.
They hold the Rwandan without trial, without access to legal or consular aid, with no communication from family members. The Rwandan, in their custody, can be tortured and subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment for days, months or even years.
All along, the Ugandan regime denies everything, claiming not to be aware of who they issue passports to or who meets their head of state. They will claim that no Rwandans are held in secret detention facilities yet dump them in terrible shape after horrific torture.
The lack of trade is hurting Ugandans, and understandably, their government is trying hard to pressure for trade to resume. But one cannot have his cake and eat it at the same time. The same government knows all to well that their policy to destabilize Rwanda had led to hundreds of Rwandans incarcerated in secret detentions facilities. They are equally aware of RNC training facilities in Uganda. If they want trade, they should simply make it safe for traders.
The MoU is clear, somethings will be ‘as soon as possible’ while others should be immediate. Surely, how hard is it for the Ugandan government to release victims of a wave of arbitrary arrests they carried out against innocents Rwandans?