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Battalion Quits Rwanda Border Post

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th October 2001 03:00 AM

UGANDA has withdrawn one UPDF battalion from Kikagati border point near Tanzania and redeployed them at Nshungezi, 25km away as part of the peace gestures to resolve the conflict with Rwanda, defence minister Amama Mbabazi said yesterday.

UGANDA has withdrawn one UPDF battalion from Kikagati border point near Tanzania and redeployed them at Nshungezi, 25km away as part of the peace gestures to resolve the conflict with Rwanda, defence minister Amama Mbabazi said yesterday.

By Grace Matsiko in Kabale UGANDA has withdrawn one UPDF battalion from Kikagati border point near Tanzania and redeployed them at Nshungezi, 25km away as part of the peace gestures to resolve the conflict with Rwanda, defence minister Amama Mbabazi said yesterday. Mbabazi made the pronouncement after a reconciliatory meeting with his Rwandan counterpart, Emmanuel Habyarimana, at the White Horse Inn, Kabale. The meeting was initiated by Uganda and facilitated by Britain. The British envoy to Uganda, Tom Phillips, as well as that to Rwanda, Sue Hogwood, attended the closed-door meeting in what officials referred to as the direct British involvement in resolving the conflict between the two former allies. Asked about the significance of his presence, Phillips said, “No comment at the moment.” Mbabazi and Phillips arrived at the venue of the meeting aboard a military gunship and were accompanied by the Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Jeje Odongo, the Chief of Military Intelligence, Lt. Col. Noble Mayombo, Mayombo’s deputy Maj. James Mugira and other senior UPDF officers. The Rwandan delegation included the acting Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. James Kabarebe, RPA spokesman Lt. Col. Bosco Kazura, the head of Military Intelligence, Col. Jack Nziza, Rwandese representative to the Joint Military Commission under the Lusaka agreement, Col. Laurent Munyakaze and Byuma Commune RPA commander Lt. Col. George Rwigamba. The delegates were received in Kabale by RDC Lt. James Mwesige. In a joint communiqué, Mbabazi and Habyarimana called for transparency and prior notification of any proposed troop deployments within the common borders and in the DR Congo where the two countries back different rebel factions. “The minister (Mbabazi) informed his counterpart (Habyarimana) that Uganda has withdrawn one battalion from Kikagati to Nshungezi,” it said. Kikagati is on the border with Tanzania but close to the Kagera River which connects to Rwanda. Mbabazi told The New Vision that the withdrawal of the soldiers was intended to restore public confidence in the Uganda - Rwanda relations. The troops were deployed at Kikagati about two months ago when renegade UPDF officers, Col. Samson Mande and Lt. Col. Anthony Kyakabale, now in exile in Rwanda, declared war on Uganda. The meeting called for an extradition treaty in light of the concerns about dissidents in either country. They also agreed that the dissidents be dissuaded from their activities and relocated to third countries under the supervision of the UN refugee agency. “In order to prevent misinterpretation of information, the ministers agreed to establish a mechanism involving the UK diplomatic missions in both countries, to evaluate and verify information with potential to cause misunderstanding,” the statement said. Ends

Battalion Quits Rwanda Border Post

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