The EAC Secretary-General, Liberat Mpfumukeko, Speaks out on Rwanda-Uganda row.

The Secretary-General of the East African Community (EAC), a Burundian Libérat Mfumukeko, has said that the regional body is working to resolve the current standoff between Uganda and Rwanda.

Liberat Mpfumukeko, the EAC Secretary-General

There is growing animosity in relations between Rwanda and Uganda. There has recently been a diplomatic row between the Kigali and Kampala administration, sparked by the closure by Rwanda of the main border over two weeks ago.

“Occasionally, we have periods when there are issues but as EAC all our countries are aware of such incidents. And mechanisms are in place to track down these non-tariff barriers or when there is a situation which can be problematic to the community,” the EAC Secretary General said during the meeting of the head offices of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in Kampala.

THE BIG PICTURE: Observers fear that the current stalemate between Uganda and Rwanda may spiral out of control and sparking clashes between Kigali and Kampala, which may lead to the loss of lives.

“Concerning Rwanda and Uganda, these are things we talk about on a regular basis. Our ministers in charge of Trade, Industry, and Investment have their platform in the community,” Mpfumukeko told reporters in Kampala.

According to SoftPower Uganda, Mpfumukeko said the Ministers and technical committees hold regular meetings and that they are already appraised with the situation.

“These issues we are talking about now are being dealt with. We have a way of resolving them…Do not think we are just watching. We have our ways of dealing with that technically and diplomatically, but the fact is – no one wants to see such kinds of problems,” Mpfumukeko added.

He said that regional countries including Rwanda and Uganda “have had traditional ties” adding that “I would not be lying to say Ugandans and Rwandans, Rwandans and Burundians, we know each other very well”.

“We’ve been cohabitating for many years. And you know when you live in the same house, because now we are a family as EAC, you know what happens. With your brothers and sisters, you quarrel once in a while. And what do parents do? They try to bring you together. As a Community, we have these frameworks for peace and security to resolve these issues whenever such tensions arise between countries,” he added.

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