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By Mulengera Reporter

President Paul Kagame has said the stalemate with Uganda was a wakeup call to Kigali to stop abandoning her people, adding that Kampala was now feeling the heat of its scheme reportedly hatched to hurt the Rwandan economy.

In his remarks at the 17th edition of the National Leadership Retreat, dubbed Umwiherero, at the Rwanda Defence Force Combat Training Centre at Gabiro in Gatsibo District, Kagame admitted Rwanda had neglected her nationals but disagreements with Uganda had made her learn to survive on her own.

“When we experienced problems with our Ugandan neighbors, some of our people grieved. I learned that citizens had been driven to access basic services like health, education and other services from our neighbor,” noted Kagame.

“The situation made us look at things in a different lens. But the truth is, we had not failed to have these services, we had just abandoned our people.”

In February 2019, the frosty relations between Uganda and Rwanda reached a record low when Kagame ordered the closure of border points with Uganda.

Efforts aimed at resolving the impasse are still ongoing, with Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni expected to meet at Katuna border on Friday, just 19 days since they held follow-up talks in Luanda Angola at the start of February.

Six months ago, the two heads-of-state inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) detailing the processes the two sides should undertake to resolve their differences.

In last Friday’s ad hoc Commission meeting, attended by Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa. Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s junior Minister in charge of EAC Affairs, attempted to substantiate claims that Kampala was backing rebels working to topple Kagame,

Two days after Nduhungirehe made Rwanda’s case in Kigali, Kagame told more than 400 leaders of central and local government, parastatals, and the private sector gathered in Gatsibo that Uganda’s intention had been to upset Rwandan economic gains but had been unsuccessful.

“Despite issues with Uganda, our economy is flourishing. Our farmers and manufacturers are now producing more of the goods that we imported,” said the Rwandan leader.

“Those who wanted to hurt our economy are the ones making losses.”




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