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Why Rwanda Asked for Postponement of Kampala Talks

by Edmund Kagire
8:56 pm

Rwanda has explained reasons behind a request to postpone the second meeting of the AdHoc Commission to review the implementation of the Luanda Agreement which was scheduled for November 18 in Kampala. 

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of East African Community Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe told KT Press that several members of the Rwanda delegation were not available for the Monday meeting due to others commitments, requesting Kampala to reschedule to a more convenient date. 

“Several members of our delegation were not available on Monday, as they had other equally important assignments,” Minister Nduhungirehe told KT Press. 

“We have requested that a mutually convenient date be arranged through diplomatic channels,” he added. 

The Executive Director of Uganda Media Centre Ofwono Opondo confirmed the development on Twitter that Rwanda had put in a request that the talks are postponed to a later date. 

“The media is hereby informed that the Second meeting of the Adhoc Commission on Luanda MoU between #Uganda and #Rwanda scheduled for November 18, 2019 in Kampala has been postponed at the request of Rwanda. A new date will be communicated,” he tweeted. 

The development came few hours after Rwanda yet again accused Uganda of addressing diplomatic issues through the media, which goes against the spirit of the resolutions of the first meeting that took place in Kigali. 

Opondo himself has in the recent past been accused of fanning the fire between the two countries through reckless statements made on social media and promoting propaganda articles attacking Rwanda. 

Minister Nduhungirehe however said that the postponement is strictly about delegation members not being available. 

Last week during a press conference, President Paul Kagame blamed Uganda for channelling diplomatic issues through the media –something he said has its own implications on the reconciliation process. 

The postponement came after days of tensions following last weekend’s shooting of two Ugandans suspected of smuggling goods into Rwanda through illegal entry points. 

Uganda sent a protest note seeking explanations on the incident during which Job Ebindishanga and Bosco Tuhirirwe from Kamwezi Sub-County were fatally shot by Police. 

Rwanda National Police (RNP) said the duo turned violent after they were intercepted smuggling goods into Rwanda in Tabagwe Sector, Nyagatare district, while others escaped back to Uganda.

 Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Maj Gen Frank Mugambage on Wednesday said that Uganda’s grievances were yet again channelled through the media, bypassing diplomatic channels through which issues are addressed.

 Previously the meeting had been scheduled for November 13 but later moved to November 18 because the Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa was not available. The new dates are yet to be communicated.