The normalization of bilateral relations between Rwanda and Uganda is moving at “a slow pace,” Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta said at a press conference on Wednesday.

He said Rwanda is committed to working towards the implementation of the Luanda Agreements, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed last year to normalize bilateral relations, while there are a number of actions, “especially on the Ugandan side, which do not show goodwill towards restoring relations.”

There are cases that Ugandan soldiers crossed to Rwanda, abducting people to Uganda, where they asked for ransom to release them, he said, adding that Rwanda has communicated with the Ugandan government through diplomatic channels and hopes this can be addressed.

He said that Rwandans continue to be arrested or harassed in Uganda and anti-Rwandan government elements continue to operate in Uganda despite efforts made on several occasions to engage the Ugandan government to address Rwanda’s concerns.

The COVID-19 pandemic also affected the ongoing talks between the once close allies, leading to the delay of planned meetings, but the two countries continued to hold talks virtually, he said.

The leaders of Rwanda, Uganda, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo attended the 4th quadripartite summit in February, which recommended a timetable for normalizing bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.

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