The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has on Monday issued an apology following President Yoweri Museveni’s letter in which he claimed that two Chinese diplomats were involved in illegal trade of ivory.
Reference was made to recent local and international media reports quoting a leaked letter from H.E the President asking the Inspector General of Government to investigate the alleged “collaboration by some Uganda Wildlife Authority officials with some Chinese by the names of Li Wejin and Yinzhi who are diplomats in the Embassy to export ivory”, among other issues.
In his letter dated May 2, Museveni directed IGG Irene Mulyagonja to investigate UWA Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Sseguya on export of Pangolin, its meat and scales contrary to international conventions.
“Some Chinese have been licensed by UWA to do that,” reads the letter.
This follows a July 2014 permit that UWA issued for the export of over 7000 kg of pangolin [a delicacy in China and Vietnam] and its scales to Laos.
Museveni stated that, UWA officials are collaborating with Li Wejin and Yinzhi, both Chinese diplomats to export ivory from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan.
The permanent secretary, Ambassador Patrick S. Mugoya, said following a thorough review of its records, it has confirmed that both Mr. Li Wejin and Yinzhi are not accredited diplomats with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Uganda.
“The Ministry regrets the negative impact this incident may have caused to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.”
China and Uganda continue to enjoy very cordial relations.
“The Government of Uganda reiterates its commitment to strengthening further the relations and bonds of friendship that exist between our two countries,” Mugoya said.