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Wednesday,August 15,2018 04:37 AM

Talk, Uganda, Rwanda Told

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th October 2001 03:00 AM

FRANCE has called on Rwanda and Uganda to resolve their differences amicably.

By Felix Osike FRANCE has called on Rwanda and Uganda to resolve their differences amicably. French Ambassador to Uganda Jean Bernard Thiant said in an interview with The New Vision, that the current misunderstanding between the two neighbours was regrettable. “It is imperative for those two countries to keep close relations. The presidents should meet and find a solution to this abnormal situation,” he said. He said Rwanda and Uganda were friendly countries with historical and blood links. “For that reason, the present situation worries me. There is no reason why the situation should become worse. In the present international situation and with the Congo crisis, we must look for a solution to the present tension,” he added. He said the misunderstanding between the two heads of state had attracted the European Union’s attention. Ambassadors from the European Union countries were scheduled to meet in Kampala yesterday to discuss the diplomatic standoff between the two countries. “These countries should in the first place fight against poverty before fighting against neighbours. Indeed many Rwandese live in Uganda and many Ugandans live in Rwanda. “At all times, Uganda has been a nation of asylum seekers. President Kagame himself lived here for a long time,” Thiant said. He also said the current tension is a build up from the unresolved question of the Kisangani clashes between the Rwandese Patriotic Army and the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces. Museveni and Kagame were scheduled to meet in Gaborone, Botswana this weekend with the British Secretary of State for International Development, Clare Short. Museveni on August 28, wrote to Short, informing her of the deteriorating relationship between Uganda and Rwanda and the intention to raise Uganda’s defence spending. In the letter, Museveni said Rwanda had given sanctuary to UPDF renegade officers Lt Col. Samson Mande and Lt. Col. Anthony Kyakabale who want to wage war against Uganda. He said the leadership in Kigali was “ideologically bankrupt” to think that they can interfere in the internal affairs of Uganda. The letter is said to have angered the Rwanda authorities. Museveni wanted the spending raised by an additional $139m (sh241b) annually for the next three years from the current $113m (196m) allowed by the donors. But Short, in a September 11 reply said UK would not support increase in defence spending because they had not seen any information about such subversive activities. A senior government official said this week that Uganda was going ahead with plans to increase her defence expenditure to contain external threats despite Short’s objection. Ends

Talk, Uganda, Rwanda Told

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