Rwandan President Paul Kagame has insisted that Uganda is destabilizing his country even though he did not go into details how this was being done.
However, his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni has hit back warning those who plan to destabilize Uganda of the consequences.
“Those who want to destabilize our country do not know our capacity. it is a very big. Once we mobilize, you can’t survive.” Mr Museveni said today while in Mukono district during the commissioning of five factories as he assured investors of security.
Kagame made the statement on Saturday while speaking at the 16th edition of the annual National Leadership Retreat, which got underway at Rwanda Defence Force Combat Training Centre in Gabiro, Gatsibo District.
“We have been provoked, people have crossed our borders, killed our people and we have not responded. We were able to see someone wanted to drag us into this mess. When they have dragged you into this sort of problem, then you start looking the same,” he said.
“What remains to discuss with our brothers and sisters is the movement of people. We have Rwandans who go to Uganda who have been in prison, in their dozens, some of them are in military prison, others nobody knows where they are.”
He said the standoff between Rwanda and Uganda will be costly.
“All that comes costly, diverts resources, attention, we should be prepared for that. That is the price of stability and continued wellbeing. It means you have to keep doing the best you can, make progress and defend the progress you are making.”
“When I hear somebody say no one can destabilise their country, I agree. No one should actually be destabilising that country but that country should also not be destabilising others, I think it is a fair deal.”
Kagame was referring to President Yoweri Museveni’s speech yesterday where he said he won’t allow anyone to distaibilise Uganda. Museveni was Chief Guest as the country joined the rest of the country to mark International Women’s Day in Bunyangabu District.
Kagame said almost every week, there are people who are brought and dumped across the border, and when you asked some of them, they say they have been in prison for 2 years.
He said whenever he has asked Uganda about the prisoners, authorities here would say they were illegal immigrants.
“But they were in prison for two years, with no charges, until they pack them in a truck and take them across the border.”
Kagame said he had learnt lessons of the country’s struggles, of the hardships. “One of them is I am not in control of what somebody else thinks about me or plans to do against me. But I must be in control of something, and that is what happens here,” he said.
Uganda denied charges that it was collaborating with rebels and other groups to destabilise Rwanda.
Uganda also denied claims of torture and harassment of Rwandans saying whoever is arrested is handled according to the due process of the law.
President Museveni last week stopped government officials from responding to Rwanda’s claims in the media.