Hon. Sam Kahamba KUTESA, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda,
Hon. Gilbert Kankonde MALAMBA, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, Security and Customary Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
Hon. Manuel Domingos AUGUSTO, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola,
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. I wish to welcome you again in Kigali for the third meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Uganda, which was signed in Luanda, Angola on 21st August 2019. I hope that you all had a good travel from your respective capitals and that our colleagues are taking good care of you on this Saint Valentine’s Day.
2. This meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission is the third, as I said, but it will – I hope – be shorter and decisive. You all remember that the two first meetings, held in September and December last year, took about 12 hours combined, which we used to extensively explain the issues that are at the heart of this crisis between Uganda and Rwanda. You would recall that the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission, held in Kampala, Uganda on 13th December 2019, was not conclusive and that we decided to refer the matter to our Heads of State.
3. The third Quadripartite Summit was then convened in Luanda on 2nd February 2020, and I take this opportunity to thank H.E. President João Manuel Gonçalves LOURENÇO of Angola and H.E. President Félix Antoine TSHISEKEDI TSHILOMBO of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for their continued leadership on this matter and their desire to reach a long-lasting solution between the two sisterly countries of Uganda and Rwanda. An important Communiqué was adopted by Heads of State in Luanda and gave a clear guideline on the way forward.
4. First, Heads of State stressed the need to address the three main issues that exist between Rwanda and Uganda, which are (1) the release of the citizens of a country illegally detained in the other, (2) the end of any support to armed groups against the neighbouring country, and (3) the protection and respect of human rights of national citizens of the other country.
5. Second, the four Presidents agreed to continue the activities of the Ad Hoc Commission, as a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the Luanda process; and Third, they convened the fourth Quadripartite Summit, to take place in Gatuna at the common border between Rwanda and Uganda on Friday 21st February 2020.
6. It is our hope that this third meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission will be solution-oriented, to address the specific issues that our Heads of State highlighted in the Luanda Communiqué, so that we can report a positive outcome to the upcoming Quadripartite Summit in Gatuna. In other words, the purpose of this meeting is to take concrete and decisive action to address the identified issues between our two countries, based on numerous exchanges, summits and meetings held over the past three years.
7. Since the last meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission in December 2019, we have witnessed some progress. On 29th December 2019, H.E. President Paul Kagame received a special message from his Ugandan counterpart, H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, delivered by his Special Envoy, Ambassador Adonia Ayebare. Following that visit, Uganda released and deported, on 7th January 2020, nine (9) Rwandans who had been detained illegally for over two years.
8. Despite the above, it is unfortunate that Uganda’s support to armed groups and individual has continued unabated. I will give few examples.
(1) The leadership of the RNC terrorist organisation, working under the cover of Self Worth Initiative NGO of Sula Nuwamanya and Prossy Bonabana, continue to conduct mobilization activities, under the facilitation of the CMI, notably Col CK Asiimwe, Deputy Head of CMI and Director of the Joint Anti-Terror Unit. After the Ad Hoc Commission meeting held on 13th December 2019 in Munyonyo, the outcomes were reported verbatim by Sula Nuwamanya and Prossy Bonabana in the social media, an indication of close collaboration between RNC and the Government of Uganda;
(2) Charlotte Mukankusi, Commissioner in charge of diplomacy in the RNC terrorist organisation, visited again in Uganda in January 2020, on RNC mission, to meet top officials of the Government of Uganda;
(3) RNC Uganda Province, led by Pastor Deo Nyirigira and Dr Sam Ruvuma, continued its activities including recruitment, restructuring, mobilization, fundraising, forming new cells and committees in various parts of Uganda, especially in Kyangwari and Nakivale refugee camps, as well as Mityana.
(4) Captain Nshimiye a.k.a “Gavana”, who coordinated the Kinigi terror attack of the night of 3-4 October 2019, is still under the protection of Uganda security organs and is handled by the Minister of State Philemon Mateke. He freely frequents Kyangwari refugee camp where some of their combatants and dependents are located. Nshimiye regularly travels to Kisoro to visit his wife and to meet Minister Mateke for briefings. In the same vein, Nzabonimana Fidèle, Kabayiza Seleman and Mugwaneza Eric, RUD Urunana operatives who participated in the Kinigi attack and reported to the Uganda authorities on 12th October 2019, are still protected by Uganda’s security organs from facing justice in Rwanda.
(5) In continuation of the mobilization of anti-Rwanda armed groups, CMI facilitated, on 2nd February 2020 (the very day of the Quadripartite Summit in Luanda) a two-day meeting between the members of RNC and RUD-Urunana terrorist organisations, which was held in Mbarara. The meeting was attended by, among others, Capt. Nshimiye a.k.a. “Gavana”, Col. Rugema Emmanuel, Col Sam, all representing RUD-Urunana, while deserter Lt Frank Mushaija, Maj. Ntare, Capt Frank Mugisha a.k.a. “Sunday”, Jean Marie Vianney Turabumukiza and Maj Robert Higiro represented RNC. CMI dispatched vehicles that took Col Rugema and his delegation from Kisoro to Mbarara for the meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to forge plans to start a new RUD-RNC rebellion and intensify mobilization activities.
9. As we speak, there are still a number of Rwandan nationals detained in various illegal detention facilities in Uganda. Several notes verbales were issued to the Government of Uganda, with details particulars of detainees and requesting for consular access. However, all those requests were never honoured. At the same time, Rwandan citizens are now dying due to sustained torture by operatives of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence
(CMI). A recent sad example is that of one Emmanuel Mageza, 50 years old, who was tortured for more than a year in CMI barracks, recently died in Butabika Mental Hospital and hastily buried in Uganda. His family demands justice and the repatriation of his body for a decent burial.
10. On the other hand, there are currently nine (9) Ugandan citizens serving sentence for various crimes in Rwanda, and who were all accorded consular access and are mentioned in a list we will be happy to provide. In the Luanda spirit, Rwanda has also terminated the prosecution of fifteen (15) Ugandan citizens, who were released.
11. Therefore, Rwanda demands that the following action be taken by the Government of Uganda:
(1) To disband the Rwanda National Congress and RUD-Urunana networks in Uganda, and to arrest and extradite all its members so that they can face justice in Rwanda;
(2)To refrain from all actions meant to destabilize the Republic of Rwanda and eliminating all factors that may create such perception;
(3)To withdraw Ugandan Passport N° A000199979 that was issued by the Ugandan Government to Charlotte Mukankusi, Commissioner in charge of Diplomacy in the RNC terrorist organization;
(4)To hold accountable facilitators of RNC and RUD-Urunana networks, including Minister of State Philemon Mateke, Brig Gen Abel Kandiho, Brig Gen Fred Karara, Col CK Asiimwe, Maj Fred Mushambo, Col Kaka Bagyenda and other government officials involved in the same activities;
(5)To repatriate the body of Emmanuel Mageza for a decent burial in Rwanda and to provide explanations about the circumstances surrounding his death. We also request for clarification about two other Rwandan citizens, namely Sendegeya Théogène and Rwembo Mucyo, who were allegedly transferred from CMI to Butabika Hospital and later got missing;
(6)To allow Julienne Kayirere to be reunited with her child Joana Imanirakiza, who was abducted in Uganda after separating Kayirere from her one-month baby, when she was arrested on 29th November 2018 in Mubende District;
(7)To unconditionally release all Rwandan citizens illegally detained in Uganda.
12. I wish to stress that summit over summit and meeting over meeting without any solution in sight cannot be an option. And this, unfortunately, was the case for meetings we held over the past three years, bilaterally or under this Luanda process. Yet, the solution is our hands, provided that we are truly committed to end this crisis with political will and good faith.
13. To conclude, distinguished colleagues, I wish to emphasize once again our responsibility as leaders in our respective countries, I also emphasize the importance of building trust among ourselves and the need to find a solution to the different challenges we are facing. We have been following comments by wanainchi from both countries, who are increasingly expressing fatigue over this self-inflicted injury in the East African Community. They are just demanding security on the common border, the end of destabilizing activities by armed and terrorist groups, and the free movement of people, goods and services in peace and security. Therefore, we cannot afford wasting any more time, we need to act decisively, responsibly, in good faith and end this crisis.
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