Rwanda on Monday reopened a border crossing with Uganda that closed three years ago when the government accused Kampala of harassing its nationals and supporting dissidents bent on removing the government in Kigali.
In turn, the government of President Yoweri Museveni accused Rwanda of conducting illegal espionage in Uganda, which suffered a huge drop in exports with the border closed.
Officials from both sides hailed the reopening, allowing a resumption of trade and some people to move back and forth. But the comments of a Rwanda government spokesman to Rwandan television on Sunday signal the animosity still lingers.
Deputy government spokesman Alain Mukuralinda told Rwanda TV that although the border was re-opening, Uganda had not yet addressed all of Kigali’s grievances.
“It does not mean that cases of beatings, torture, and deportations of Rwandan nationals are over. It does not mean that the people, based in Uganda, who want to destabilize Rwanda have stopped. We hope it is a good move towards stopping all that,” he said.
On Monday, government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo declined to comment on her deputy’s comments. Uganda’s government spokesman could not immediately be reached. Both sides have previously denied the allegations from each other.
“The Gatuna border is open. Currently, trucks, Rwandan citizens, returning residents, are crossing to Rwanda,” Makolo told Reuters.
She said the two countries were working on anti-coronavirus health measures and that other categories of travelers would be allowed to once those measures were put in place.