Another Rwandan was arrested in Uganda, a trend that has become worrisome as the relationship of both countries continues to worsen.
On Thursday, January 10, 2019, news broke that one Moses Ishimwe Rutare – a 33-year-old Rwandan businessman based in Uganda, was picked by operatives attached to Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) as testified by his relatives.
Rutare was reportedly picked up from Bugolobi – a Kampala suburb where he had attended a church service.
“The continued arrests and torture of Rwandan citizens in Uganda is not only against basic human rights, but a threat to East African Community’s Common Market Protocol,” Rwanda’s State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe said.
Rutare’s development adds to a series of other cases reported by Rwanda Police where several Rwandans were aligned before media after days of torture in the neighboring country.
In reaction to the latest arrest, Amb. Nduhungirehe who is specifically charged with the East African Community Affairs, expressed worry over when the arrests will stop.
“When will arrests and torture of Rwandan citizens in Uganda stop? This permanent harassment of Rwandans is not only against basic human rights but it is also against good neighborliness and free movement of people, as agreed by East African Community Partner States under the Common Market Protocol!” Minister Nduhungirehe tweeted.
In his end of year (2018) address to the nation, President Paul Kagame said that the country remained strong despite attempts by the neighbors to threaten its security.
While relations between Rwanda and other African countries remained strong in 2018, Kagame said that: “Some neighbours have tried to revive the threat caused by FDLR, RNC and other negative forces” adding that it threatens regional integration efforts.
“This jeopardises the otherwise good progress in East African integration as well as regional security,” he said.
According to President Kagame, the two neighbours ‘play different roles’ in the project to threaten Rwanda’s security.
“For one of our neighbour, we expect it. However, we are surprised by another neighbour where the evidence we have and which they must also have, shows clearly complicity, despite public denials,” Kagame said.
The EAC Heads of State Summit is expected to convene on February 1, this year in Uganda’s capital Kampala and such regional issues are expected to be discussed.