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Rwanda says no trade embargo imposed against Uganda

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Staff Writer | March 15, 2019
Rwanda on Thursday denied claims made by neighboring Uganda that it has imposed an embargo on bilateral trade with Uganda.
Sam Kutesa
Africa   Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa
Rwanda's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that recent statements by Uganda in relation to the alleged trade embargo are "diversionary" and do not address fundamental issues raised by Rwanda.

Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa on Wednesday said the export of Ugandan goods to Rwanda and Rwandan goods to Uganda has been prohibited by Rwandan authorities. He said the Rwandan authorities are only allowing in trucks carrying transit goods headed for Rwanda or transiting through the country to the Democratic Republic of Congo and other places.

The statement from the Rwandan Foreign Ministry on Thursday said the country's commitment to free movement of people, including Ugandans, goods and services within the region and on the continent is unquestionable.

Rwanda also called upon the Ugandan government to address what it says were key issues between the two countries.

The Rwandan Foreign Ministry said in the statement that hundreds of Rwandan people haven been "killed, arrested, incarcerated without consular access and tortured," and that close to 1,000 Rwandan people were "illegally deported" to Rwanda in inhumane conditions.

The statement also said armed groups and terrorist organizations hostile to Rwanda are supported by "institutions and officials of the government of Uganda."

It also said the key issues include "the targeting of ordinary Rwandan citizens involved in regular business and trade activities within the framework of the East African Community and the hampering of the free movement of goods, including perishables, to and through Uganda."

Uganda and Rwanda have recently had a frosty relation. Rwanda accused Uganda of harboring its dissidents, an allegation Uganda denied. Uganda has refuted reports that it closed its border with Rwanda, saying that it is committed to ensuring free movement of persons and goods across borders.