The meeting between Uganda’s Commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has kicked-off.
Muhoozi is meeting the Rwandan leader in his capacity as President Yoweri Museveni’s Senior Advisor in Charge of Special Operations. The discussion is centering on the existing tensions between Uganda and Rwanda that have lasted more than two years.
Muhoozi arrived in Kigali on Saturday afternoon and received at the Kigali international Airport by among others Brig Gen Willy Rwagasana, the Commandant of Republican Guard, officials of Uganda’s embassy in Rwanda and Rwanda Defence Force Spokesperson Col Ronald Rwivanga.
He thereafter moved to Urugwiro village, the office residence of the President of Rwanda, where the meeting is happening.
A Facebook post on Paul Kagame’s official page confirmed the commencement of the meeting.
“This afternoon at Urugwiro Village, President Kagame received General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Senior Presidential Advisor in Charge of Special Operations and Commander of Land Forces where they are now meeting to discuss relations between Rwanda and Uganda,” reads the post.
The relations between the brotherly countries with strong political and historic ties became frost in February 2019 when Rwanda closed Katuna/Gatuna border.
At the time, Kigali said the closure was due to the renovations at the border. Cargo was then diverted to Mirama Hills and Kyanika border posts in Ntungamo and Kisoro districts, but those too were later closed.
Rwanda shortly after, issued a travel advisory to its nationals warning them against travelling to Uganda, which it accused of, among other things, abducting its citizens and detaining them in ungazetted areas, allegations government of Uganda disputed.
Since the closure of border, there has been at least four tripartite meetings involving Angolan President Joao Lourenço, and DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi, and a series of lower level meetings between government officials of the two nations, but they have not yielded much.
Rwanda continues to block her citizens from moving to Uganda by road.
This week, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Adonia Ayebare delivered President Yoweri Museveni’s special message to Kagame in Kigali. Details of the message are a top secret. It is however anticipated that key in the message was Uganda’s military operations in DR. Congo against ADF rebels given their threat to the region, as well as rooting for a lasting solution to misunderstandings that exist between the two countries.
Prior to Amb. Ayebare’s visit to Rwanda’s, Lt Gen Kainerugaba in what now emerges a tactical communication of resumption and positive progress of talks, described Kagame as his Uncle before asking whoever fights him to trade carefully.
“This is my uncle, Afande Paul Kagame. Those who fight him are fighting my family. They should all be careful,” wrote Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba on twitter where he posted two photos of President Kagame.
The meeting is going to be a one-on-one without mediating parties as it was the case for the tripartite engagements.
Uganda has consistently expressed readiness to peacefully engage with Rwanda on any arising issues for purposes of peace and restoring normalcy.