Rwanda + 1 more

Ugandan papers report Rwandan troop deployments at common border

Kampala, Uganda (PANA) - As tensions mount between the two neighbours in the wake of accusations that each was harbouring and aiding dissidents against the other, Kampala newspapers alleged Tuesday that Rwanda was amassing troops on its common border with Uganda.
According to a lead story in the Monitor Newspaper, heavily armed troops have been deployed in the Rwandan districts of Mutara, Byumba and Bulita near Uganda's border sub-county of Rubaya in the southwestern town of Kabale.

The paper quoted Kabale Resident District Commissioner Lt James Mwesigye as confirming receipt of reports about the Rwandan troop deployment, saying he was following up the matter.

Equally quoted was James Kairu, a local councillor of Kamwezi, which borders Rwanda.

"The Rwandan deployments have generated great fear among locals, and the matter is to be discussed with the district security officials," Kairu told the Monitor.

The paper, however, quoted Rwandan Army spokesperson Major Jill Rutaremara as denying his country had stepped up troop deployment along the Uganda border.

"The last time there was a change in deployment in the areas mentioned was between 17 September and 5 October last year when our forces withdrew from DR Congo," Rutaremara said.

Other press accounts affirmed that the Ugandan Army had also increased its presence along the border with Rwanda, but army spokesperson Major Shaban Bantariza said he was not aware of any fresh deployment.

"I cannot tell whether we have responded [to Rwanda's deployment] or not," Bantariza told PANA on telephone, when contacted for comment on the allegations.

Uganda of late accused an unnamed country of fighting alongside the rebel Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), which fought Uganda troops in the northeastern DR Congo town of Bunia last Thursday. A week earlier, Kigali alleged that a military spy plane flew into Rwandan airspace from Uganda without permission -- a charge Kampala denied, saying none of its military aircraft flew anywhere near the border.

Ugandan authorities said the suspected aircraft might have been a small plane hired from Kenya to photo-survey the country's water catchment areas along the Rwanda border.

Kigali had also demanded to inspect three major refugee camps in southwestern Uganda close to the border, alleging Uganda security authorities were arming and training dissident Rwandan groups to fight the regime of President Paul Kagame.


Pan African News Agency
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