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By Mulengera Reporter

Those praying for the reopening the Katuna Border Point will need to do more supplications after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart returned home Friday evening without a deal.  Hope for the border reopening now hangs on the thread fabricated by an Extradition Agreement signed by the two warring heads-of-state.

With the border now closed for a year, the Katuna Treaty puts Uganda in a tricky situation, with Rwanda seemingly shoving Kampala into a tight corner where she has to act or Katuna will keep closed as long as Kigali wishes.

Hours before the February 21 meeting, Uganda had announced a second action on a demand made by Kigali about a week earlier: the thorny issue of the passport of Charlotte Mukankusi, a woman Rwanda wants for engaging in activities aimed at “destabilizing” the Kagame regime.

Labelling Makankusi the Commissioner for Diplomacy of Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a group Kagame and those loyal to him hate with a passion, and have even blacklisted as a “terror group”, Kigali had been pushing Kampala to revoke the passport issued at the start of last year.

But Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and his boss Museveni seemed disappointed in Kagame and Rwanda – at least going by the body language of the officials at Katuna – perhaps, because Kigali had refused to yield even after the withdrawal of Makankusi’s passport, and the release of 13 Rwandan detainees in a swap deal closed days earlier.

Whether the border is reopened soon or not will now depend on how Uganda acts on a matter it has always denied – that of harboring Rwandans working to topple Kagame, a former Museveni bush war comrade.

The treaty the two countries signed contains details on how Uganda should resolve the issue of alleged backing of subversive activities intended to overthrow the Rwandan government.

Uganda is now expected to use a period one month to “verify these allegations and take all measures possible to address the challenges.”

The Ad hoc Commission, on which Rwandan Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe and his senior Ugandan counterpart Kutesa sit, will confirm the action before a final decision to reopen Katuna and effect other suggestions in the August Luanda-Angola Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the following 15 days.

That means the border might be open in a period of ‘over 45 days’ provided Kampala soon releases ‘Rwandan dissidents’ reportedly being hidden by Uganda. The wanted individuals include:

  • Sula Nuwamanya
  • Prossy Bonabana
  • Pastor Deo Nyirigira
  • Dr Sam Ruvuma
  • Capt Nshimiye, alias Gavana
  • Fidèle Nzabonimana
  • Seleman Kabayiza
  • Eric Mugwaneza
  • Lt Frank Mushaija
  • Maj Ntare
  • Capt Frank Mugisha, alias Sunday
  • Jean Marie Vianney Turabumukiza
  • Maj Robert Higiro
  • Col Emmanuel Rugema



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