The Democratic Party (DP) has called upon the East African Community (EAC) to intervene in the growing tension between Uganda and Rwanda.
The row follows the closure of the Rwanda border at Gatuna last week, leaving most Ugandans stranded.
The party spokesperson Paul Kenneth Kakande asked the regional intergovernmental organisation to build bridges between the two countries to salvage a big conflict.
“The community should be moving forward to removing barriers between member countries and bring lasting peace in the region,” he said during the party’s weekly briefing at its headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday.
Kakande said that the regional body should not keep a deaf ear when there is tension among member states.
Expressing worries, Kakande said the situation on the ground was costing the economy especially the traders whose goods were rotting at the border.
“A number of traders thrive on loans and when the goods are not bought they lose out. So we call upon the government to come out and arrest the situation before it worsens,” he requested.
Kakande also advised the two presidents involved and their cabinets to sit down and resolve the matter amicably.
“Presidents Museveni and Kagame have been best of friends since high school; they should use that old relationship to build bridges and save Ugandans the stress,” he advised.
Among others, DP called for a clean foreign policy on how Uganda relates with the neighbouring countries.
“We need a well thought out policy that clearly shows the rules of engagement and that which can adjust accordingly depending on the country, we are dealing with,” Kakande said.
DP also condemned the attack on the former president of the Forum for Democratic Change, Dr Kizza Besigye.
Besigye was attacked last weekend in Mengo a city suburb by youths alleged to be affiliated to the People Power pressure group. Kakande noted that the weekend incident is not isolated.
“We saw a similar incident in the run-up to the 2016 general elections during The Democratic Alliance (TDA) search for a single presidential candidate, a group of youth pulled Dr Besigye out of the meeting and that was the end of the coalition efforts,” he recalled.
“We call upon the opposition parties and groups to act with restraint, stay calm and remain focused. We believe incidents like these should not divert us,” he added.