Rwanda welcomes release, deportation of nationals from Uganda

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 14:35 |
Sam Kutesa (R), Ugandan Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses journalists during the release of Rwandan nationals in Kampala, capital of Uganda, Feb. 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Fred Mutune)

The Rwandan government on Wednesday welcomed Tuesday's release of 13 more Rwandan nationals and the deportation of two terror suspects who were incarcerated in Uganda.

"The government of Rwanda welcomes the release of 13 Rwandan nationals and the deportation of 2 terrorist suspects who were involved in the October 2019 Kinigi attacks," the Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement.

It was referring to the attack in Kinigi sector, in northern Rwanda's Musanze district, in which 14 people were killed.

The 15 arrived in Rwanda early Wednesday.

Rwanda has also terminated the prosecution of 17 Ugandan citizens and released three who have completed their sentences, the statement said.

On Jan. 8, Uganda released nine Rwandan nationals who were freed by a military court-martial after prosecution lost interest in several cases they were facing, including illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Sam Kutesa, Uganda's minister of foreign affairs, told reporters in Kampala that the 13 who were released on Tuesday faced similar charges as those released earlier.

Last August, Uganda and Rwanda signed a memorandum of understanding aimed to normalize their relations.

Early last year, Rwanda closed its common border with Uganda, alleging that the latter was incarcerating its citizens, claims Uganda denied.

Since a meeting of the two countries' leaders in Luanda, Angola, both sides have held meetings to normalize ties.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, are set to meet Friday at the common border at Gatuna to further ease the tension. (Xinhua)

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