Uganda, Rwanda officials meet in Kampala over tensions
Friday December 13 2019
Rwandan and Ugandan officials will on Friday meet in Kampala to discuss the implementation of a pact aimed at ending tensions between the two countries.
Uganda government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, on Thursday said the meeting will be attended by Angola and DR Congo who are the facilitators to the Luanda agreement.
“Uganda and Rwanda will tomorrow [Friday] hold a follow-up meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo to the one held in Kigali in September to concretize the issues in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Luanda, Angola in Aug 2019,” Opondo tweeted.
Rwanda State Minister in charge of East Africa Community Oliver Nduhungirehe told Rwanda Broadcasting Agency that Rwanda would send a delegation of high ranking officials to the meeting.
A follow up meeting scheduled for October 17 in Kampala was postponed at the request of Kigali.
Following mediation in August by Angolan President Joao Lourenco and a follow up meeting in Kigali to chart a path to normal diplomatic relations, Uganda agreed to organise the second meeting by October 17.
The meetings are meant to fast-track the implementation of an agreement signed by both President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to end two-year long hostilities between the neighbours.
Key on the agenda for the Kampala meeting is reopening of the two nations’ common border for goods and people.
The border has been closed since late February when Rwanda stopped its citizens from crossing into Uganda and restricted the entry of Ugandan goods into the country.
Business community and communities in both countries have suffered from the border closure.
Ugandan exporters are desperate to access Rwanda and Burundi markets.
Rwandan has run out of stock of popular Ugandan products especially beverages and foodstuffs, cement and consumables, with no adequate or in certain cases expensive alternatives.
Regional security issues are also expected to be on the agenda after Mr Nduhungirehe liked a tweet by Communication Advisor to President Kagame Yolande Makolo saying the dispute "has never been about 'border tension.'
"Its always about Rwandans harassed, abducted, detained and tortured in Uganda. Its about Ugandan officials plotting with dissidents and terrorists to destabilise Rwanda," Ms Makolo tweeted on Friday.
Kampala has denied these allegations.