Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Sam Kutesa on the Rwanda/Uganda Situation (05.03.2019)

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions Part II: More retaliating measures!

As we have seen over the weekend at the border points between Rwanda and Uganda. There been stoppage of trucks at Katuna Border Post. A place where the trucks been stuck and not able to cross. There are even some whose been able, but they have been fined with higher rates to cross with certain goods like maize and other exports from Uganda to Rwanda.

With this in mind, there been also higher fines on the buses with Rwandan nationals crossing into Uganda. There also been reports of more deployment of soldiers close to the border. As well as three Rwandan Generals arrested, this being Joseph Nzabamwita, Fred Ibingira and Emmanuel Ruvusha. Whose all been arrested as this tension between the Republic are spiralling.

We certainly knows that the Rwandan government is retaliating. They are making it harder for the Ugandans to cross into Rwanda. Also, as the Rwandan government warned their citizens about doing this. Therefore, the buses and trucks are paying more for crossing the borders. That means, in the end the businesses on both sides will be affected and most likely the produce and imports will be more costly for the consumers in the respective country. That is what Rwandan citizens will be doing in the end, because the Ugandan traders have to get their ends.

That is the minor scratches of this, which now is very spiteful. This is happening as there is speculations of spies, sudden arrests and even missing Rwandan nationals in Uganda. As well, as the big-man play of Yoweri Museveni who is possibly supporting rebel outfits in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the RNC and FDLR, whose sole mission is to destroy Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Paul Kagame surely won’t take that kindly and might be the reason for three General arrested recently.

Therefore, the border dispute is getting ugly. As the possible acts of the Presidents are going hard. They are ordering their security organizations and spies all over. The CMI and ISO are surely working overtime, as there reports of new editorial line at Radio Simba FM, where they are coming with spiteful chants about Rwandans. This is surely in retaliation against what is happening.

Now, there is a jam, a long line of trucks, where about 130 are waiting in line waiting to able to cross into Rwanda from Uganda. This is sure sign of how the Rwandan are looking at Uganda. Also, the way the Ugandan are able to deal with Rwanda. As this has been going on for over 4 days, and the measures on the other side is getting more restricted and costly.

There are surely some paranoia both ways, as there are possible ways to diplomatically end this dispute. Where the ones losing is the citizens and businesses. The ones not losing is the ones in power and the elites. It is the bus-passengers and the exporters whose paying the initial price. The public are pawns in the giant chess-set of their masters. The Presidents are playing their game and the pawns are the ones taken out, one by one.

Right now, the Rwandan are exercising their sovereign state activity, they are allowed to close their borders and put tariffs on imports. However, its done as a retaliating measure and not through any notification. Neither, has there seemingly been a regard for the each others nationals behind bars. Which has been used as well as reasons for this. There been no talk about the possible rebel outfits or the sponsoring of such, as that that would be on shady back-stabbing ground.

We will not know how this is going, but surely the template is that it will go on. Until one of the President humiliate himself and actually asks to talk to the other. So, that the functions of the borders goes back to normal and that they can settle the differences that is there. They are both known for playing shadow murky games. This could be more of that, we don’t know at this point. Because, they are not transparent and open about this. Since, then we would see the dark-side of their reign. Peace.

Uganda Revenue Authority letter to Rwanda Revenue Authority: “Subject: Resolution of Congestion at Katuna Border Post” (02.03.2019)

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions: It Escalated this Weekend

This weekend sparked with closure or blocked border points on the Rwandan side, ensuring that the trucks with goods from Uganda was blocked from entering Rwandan territory. This has been happening since 1st March 2019. They have deliberately made it harder for business and export to happen from one to the other. Because of this.

The Rwanda Revenue Authority has claimed it is for building a One Stop Border Point and wanting the Ugandan Nationals and Businessmen to move their vehicles to other borders points, instead of Gatuna Border Points. This is happening, while state officials on both is escalating the crisis between them.

The Rwandan Minister for Foreign Affairs and Government Spokesman Dr. Richard Sezibera been saying: “We have advised Rwandans not to go to Uganda because we cannot guarantee their security in Uganda” (James Munyaneza & Collins Mwai – ‘Rwanda warns citizens against travel to Uganda’ 02.03.2019, The New Times – Rwanda).

While Executive Director of Uganda Media Centre Ofwono Opondo stated this yesterday: “All vehicles coming from Rwanda enter well into Uganda but it’s the opposite on the Rwandan side. Rwandese aren’t being allowed to travel and enter Uganda but Ugandan nationals are. What is being stopped are only vehicles because of the blockage” (Uganda Media Centre, 01.03.2019).

Therefore, the Ugandan is indirectly saying that Rwandan are being blocked. While the Rwandan is already warning about them travelling and entering into Uganda. To top it off. Because right now, Rwanda is blocking and denying trucks and goods from Uganda. While Uganda is blocking Rwandan nationals, therefore, the the border squat has escalated with this.

It cannot just be fixing the infrastructure at the Gatuna Border Point. Now, it is something more underneath. As there are alleged arrests, detaining and torture of Rwandan nationals in Uganda. While Rwandan rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo are supported by Museveni, who fights against the Kigali regime of Kagame. That is why there are a lot of speculations and also stirring waters. It is rising into a storm in a water glass.

What we have is to Presidents who are involved in shady business and exports from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Of vast minerals and usage of rebel outfits to be able to do so. As they are earning fortunes on the misfortunes of the Congolese people there. They are sponsoring, training and also weaponizing the conflict there. This is done from Kigali and Kampala and been going on for over two decades. The gentlemen in power knows this, and they are trying to have spies on each to configure who can come on top. However, its now and then it backfires. The intimidation and the plans get disconnected, as the DRC and the other party are able to capture the rebels. Just like what happen with the RNC and FDLR agents visiting Uganda before Christmas 2018 and extradited to Kigali recently.

Therefore, this isn’t about the border point or the Rwandan nationals crossing into Uganda. This isn’t about a blockage of goods and trucks from Uganda. No, this is about political games and also power. This is about two men, two Presidents who wants it all and grab it. Want to outsmart and also lurk in the shadows without getting caught. It is two President that are trying to salvage something, but only loosing out. As both parties are losing valuable time and assets, while playing hide- and seek like this.

President Museveni and President Kagame needs to talk and settle their grievances, before it gets out of hand. These are weapon-brothers who has built their careers together and also went into ventures together elsewhere. Therefore, these two should be able to talk. Instead of letting their citizens and their population suffer, because they have fallen out. That is how it is seems and that is not showing leadership, but greed and lack of diplomatic efforts to settle; whatever these two needs to settle. Peace.

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

Press Release: EU aid for African Great Lakes region getting through, but may be to expensive say auditor (04.07.2016)

EU Audits 04.07.2016 P1EU Audits 04.07.2016 P2

Joint Communique: 17th Ordinary Summity of the East African Community Heads of State

17 EAC Joint Communique P117 EAC Joint Communique P217 EAC Joint Communique P317 EAC Joint Communique P417 EAC Joint Communique P5

11th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit – Joint Communique (17.10.2015)

11th NCIP P111th NCIP P211th NCIP P311th NCIP P411th NCIP P5

Press Release: EAC deploys Regional Medical and Public Health Emergency Support Teams to Refugee Camps in Kigoma, Tanzania and Eastern Province of Rwanda (13.07.2015)

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