The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah and the Speaker of the Rwandan Parliament, Donatile Mukabalisa have called on legislators of the two countries to intervene in the border conflict.
While meeting with Oulanyah on 20 November 2019 on the sidelines of the African Caribbean and Pacific-European Union Parliamentary Assembly in Kigali, Mukabalisa expressed disappointment with the deteriorating relationship between the two countries.
Mukabalisa said that Rwandans fear to travel to Uganda due to reports of kidnaps and torture. She called on the parliaments of the two countries to make a contribution towards ongoing efforts to resolve the conflict.
“Considering the role of MPs, we should always put the plight of the people we represent first,” she said.
Oulanyah termed the conflict as ‘heartbreaking’ for people who shared so much in common and lived peacefully for many years.
He added that the conflict has affected the ordinary citizens and therefore, it is crucial that the two parliaments intervene.
The Deputy Speaker suggested that the two states should use the Sudan and South Sudan peace process approach which saw the two countries carry out an exchange visit of representatives.
He however cautioned both countries against reliance on fake news, saying that it escalates conflict.
“We also just read some of the things that came out in the press. There is so much fake news; we should all be vigilant of that,” Oulanyah said.
Uganda and Rwanda have seen months of tensions with the two neighbors accusing each other of espionage, political killings and attacks on trade. This saw the closure of the Rwanda-Uganda border in February.
Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame signed an agreement in Angola in August aimed at ending the long-standing conflict.
The dispute between the two countries is feared to threaten the stability of the East African Region as well as economic integration.