The Government has maintained that its borders remain open to citizens of Rwanda despite the ongoing impasse between the two countries that saw Rwanda close its frontiers with Uganda since February.
The assurance was made by state minister for foreign affairs Okello Oryem while defending his ministry’s ministerial policy statement for 2018/2019 financial year before MPs sitting on the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs chaired by Hood Katuramu (People with Disabilites West).
Oryem said the stand-off between the two countries “is not a major concern” and, therefore, there should be no cause for alarm. He added that efforts were underway to resolve the matter diplomatically and have everything back to normal as soon as possible.
“As far as Uganda is concerned our borders are open to Rwandans who wish to come for any business, whether by road or air transport. All our neighbors are welcome provided they respect the rules and regulations of Uganda. Anybody who comes to Uganda is subject to its laws,” Oryem said.
Lyandro Komakech (Gulu Municipality) expressed concern at the ongoing events in neighbouring Sudan that saw its long-serving leader Omar Al-Bashir ousted last week after several weeks of mass protests geared towards ending his 30 year rule.
Lyandro wondered if this would not negatively impact Uganda’s peace as well as its trade relations with Sudan. However, Oryem allayed fears of the lawmakers by assuring them that Uganda was closely monitoring the situation and that there was no cause for alarm. He said it was important that the will and wishes of the people of Sudan be respected, adding that whatever form of governance the people of Sudan determine their country should take must be respected.
“We are watching Sudan closely because we classify them as immediate neighbors; the transition is volatile and moving fast. We ask our friends in the region who know the players closely to inform us about any arising issues as far as Uganda is concerned,” he said.
“We wish and urge that Sudan remains intact. Whatever happens no one should have aspirations of bloodshed,” Oryem added.