The diplomatic tiff between Rwanda and Uganda has escalated today Monday after Rwanda deploying heavily armed personnel along its border lines with Uganda. The armed personnel are visible in the hills at Mukaniga, Byumba and Buganza. Also at Chanika in Kisoro district, the Rwandan army can be seen patrolling the Rwandan side of the border.
Uganda’s Internal Security Organization (ISO) officials and locals confirmed the presence of the heavily armed Rwanda Defense Force soldiers along the borders. Although ISO officials said, Uganda doesn’t see a reason yet to also deploy armed personnel, Rwanda’s deployment has aroused tensions among the locals near the borders.
Rwanda’s deployment signals an escalation of the diplomatic hostility between the two countries which has been ongoing for the last two years. Since Wednesday last week, Rwanda blocked Ugandan trucks and buses from crossing into or out of Rwanda. Initially, the official reason given, was that Rwanda was upgrading its one stop border post at Gatuna border and advised drivers to use Chanika border post as an alternative.
Bernard Ssengendo, one of the Ugandan truck drivers still stuck in Rwanda, says that although Ugandan drivers are now allowed to make movements during daytime and return to the Ugandan side of the border for meals, they are ordered to lock themselves inside their trucks throughout the night by the Rwandan police.