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Uganda- Rwanda Tensions Overshadow Debate on EAC Integration

State Minister for East African Community Affairs Maganda Julius who was presenting a statement on the 20 years of East African Integration was overruled by MPs saying the statement does not address the tense relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
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Members of Parliament have expressed disappointment over the failure to resolve the Uganda-Rwanda tensions.

During plenary on Thursday, Maganda Julius Wandera, the Minister of State for East African Community Affairs who was presenting a statement on the 20 years of East African Integration was overruled by MPs saying the statement does not address the tense relations between Uganda and Rwanda.

The MPs also cited last week’s incident in which Rwanda police shot dead two Uganda nationals including John Bosco Tuhirirwe and Job Ebyarishaga at Tabarwe sector in Nyagatare district over alleged smuggling of tobacco.

Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga County MP said that the Minister can’t talk about the achievements of integration when the borders remain closed.

//Cue in; “On May 24th… 

 Cue out…lives of Ugandans.”//

Jacqueline Amongin the Woman MP Ngora district says the Minister needs to give a detailed update on the relations of the East African community, the achievements since the integration started but also the Uganda-Rwanda tensions.

//Cue in; “Despite the fact… 

 Cue out…home to everyone.”//

Kitgum Municipality MP Beatrice Anywar says all East African neighbours are safe and free while in Uganda, but Ugandans are not safe in some neighbouring countries. The Minister was asked to make a comprehensive statement on EAC and the challenges it faces.

Tension has been high between Uganda and Rwanda since February when Rwanda closed Gatuna border in March. Rwanda accused Uganda of aiding dissidents opposed to President Paul Kagame. 

In June, Rwanda temporarily opened the border for heavy trucks.

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