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Rwanda/Uganda: Kagame cancels state visit over fresh row with Museveni

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Entebbe, Uganda (PANA) - Fresh tension between often quarrelsome neighbours Rwanda and Uganda on Monday angered Rwandan President Paul Kagame to cancel a state visit to Kampala without notice.

Kagame failed to arrive at Entebbe International Airport where three Ugandan ministers, two ambassadors, a presidential security detail and motorcade vainly waited for more than two hours to receive him.

President Yorweri Museveni had delegated Works and Communications Minister John Nasasira to receive President Kagame, who was expected to attend the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (Fara) that convened at Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Fresh tension flare when Kampala last week complained of hostile treatment by Kigali that left President Museveni in a state of duress as threatened as his security detail was reduced during the just ended COMESA heads of state summit in Kigali.

Information obtained from officials of the Rwandan advance government party reveals that Kagame was angered by Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa's reference to last week's interference with President Museveni's presidential convoy at the common border port of Katuna "as silly and infantile."

Rwandan security at the Katuna border post demanded reduction in the number of vehicles in Museveni's convoy, forcing some of the cars back to Uganda. Just six of the 18 cars in the original convoy were allowed to proceed with Museveni to Kigali for the COMESA summit.

This ignited a new wave of diplomatic disquiet last week between the two tiny landlocked neighbouring countries.

"While the Uganda government does not want to be distracted by such a silly and infantile incident, we cannot accept lies being told about our officials," remarked Kutesa in a statement issued here last Sunday.

And that statement aggravated Kagame to cancel a state visit on Monday that was meant to confirm bilateral working relations with Museveni.

Kigali is reported to have explained its action at the common border by accusing Kampala of blatant violation of its territorial sovereignty by Uganda officials.

Kigali also accused Ugandan's Presidential Guards Brigade of having carried extra guns and more vehicles than they had earlier agreed on.

Pan African News Agency
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