Uganda, Rwanda sign Extradition Treaty at Katuna

Friday, February 21, 2020

The 4th Quadripartite Summit of the Heads of state of Uganda, Rwanda, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended at the Uganda-Rwanda border point of Katuna with Uganda and Rwanda signing an extradition treaty in line with 3rd Quadripartite Summit held in Luanda Angola recently.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Sam Kuteesa signed the treaty on behalf of Uganda while Rwandan counterpart, Mr. Vincent Biruta, signed on behalf of Rwanda.

The extradition treaty constitutes, among others, the legal framework to handle cases of justice including those related to subversive activities practiced by either of the 2 countries’ nationals in the territory of the other party.

In a communiqué read by the Angola Foreign Minister at the end of the day’s long summit, the heads of state expressed gratitude at the progress that has been registered regarding the commitment by Uganda and Rwanda to eliminate the tension factor between the two East African Community member countries. They particularly hailed the release of prisoners from both sides and the guarantee to continue this process in observance of the rule of law and the international humanitarian laws.

The Summit further recommended that Uganda should, within a month, verify allegations by Rwanda about actions by forces hostile to Rwanda said to be working from the Ugandan territory. They said that if the allegations are found to be true, the Government of Uganda will take all measures to stop it and prevent it from happening in the future.

The Summit further recommended that the verification and confirmation of the allegations by Rwanda must be done by the Ad-hoc Ministerial Commission for the implementation of the memorandum of understanding of Luanda. It further observed that once the above recommendation is fulfilled and reported to the Heads of State, the facilitators will convene a Summit in 15 days’ time at Uganda-Rwanda Katuna border for the opening of the border and the subsequent normalisation of the relationship between the two countries. 

President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame commended President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco of Angola and President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo for their dedication and for always being available in the search for a peaceful solution in the framework of reconciliation between the two sister countries (Uganda and Rwanda).

Later as President Museveni made stopovers in Katuna Town and Kabale Municipality, he explained to Ugandans what led to the closure of the border between Uganda and Rwanda. He said that the closure emanated from the internal conflicts in Rwanda, especially within the RPF ranks when some members of RPF disagreed with the Rwanda Government with the majority taking refugee in South Africa. He, however, said that the Rwanda Government alleged that some of them reside in Uganda which allegation, he added, was not true.

He said that those that the Government of Uganda arrested were handed to Rwanda and that the Government of Uganda was not aware of the presence of such people on the Ugandan territory.

Mr. Museveni added that for the case of Rwandan citizens that were arrested in Uganda for such cases as espionage and kidnapping of people on Ugandan soil, he has instructed for their pardon and immediate release but said those arrested for crimes such as murder and rape, will have to face trial in accordance with the Ugandan laws.

President Museveni expressed sympathy the citizens of Uganda and those of Rwanda that have been affected by the closure of the border but called for patience as a lasting solution is being sought. He expressed optimism that with the independent facilitators from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the truth will come out because the NRM Government stands for the truth. ENDS