Rwanda, Uganda peace talks underway in Kigali

Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda's Minister of State in charge of the East African Community during his remarks at MINAFFET in Kigali on September 16, 2019. / Emmanuel Kwizera

Rwanda and Ugandan officials Monday started a one-day meeting in Kigali to come up with a solution to end the ongoing impasse in relations between the two countries.

The meeting is a follow up on an agreement signed by both countries in Luanda, Angola last month.

Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda's Minister of State in charge of the East African Community, is leading the Rwandan delegation while the Ugandans are led by Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa.

Rwanda's delegation also comprises Frank Mugambage, High Commissioner to Uganda, Anaclet Kalibata, the Director-General of External Intelligence at the National Intelligence and Security Services. 

It also includes Anastase Shyaka, the Minister forLocal Government; Johnston Busingye, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General; and Joseph Nzabamwita, the Secretary-General of the National Intelligence and Security Services. 

The Ugandan team also includes Oliver Wonekha, Uganda's High Commissioner to Rwanda; William Byaruhanga, Attorney General; Joseph Ocwet, from the Office of the President; as well as Gen JeJe Odongo, the Minister for Internal Affairs.

The two countries are joined by a team from Angola and DR Congo, which are both playing a pivotal role to help Rwanda and Uganda reach an agreement.

Angola's delegation is led by Minister for External Relations Manuel Domingos Augusto, while DR Congo's is headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Interior Gilbert Kankonde Malaba. 

In the Luanda agreement, between President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, committed to working to normalize relations, which have been deteriorating amidst Kigali’s complaints that Kampala was arbitrarily arresting Rwandans and aids rogue elements to stabilize Rwanda.

Ugandan delegation at the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission on the implementation of the Luanda MoU between Rwanda and Uganda./  Emmanuel Kwizera

After the Luanda meeting, an ad hoc commission was set up for the implementation of the deal.

The agreement was expected to be effected immediately but there has not been any progress yet several weeks later.

The commitments include; respecting the sovereignty of each other’s and of the neighboring countries; and refraining from actions conducive to destabilisation or subversion in the territory of the other party and neighbouring countries, thereby eliminating all factors that may create such perception, as well as acts such as the financing, training and infiltration of destabilising forces.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Presidents João Lourenço of Angola, Félix Tshisekedi of DR Congo, and Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville.

Rwandan delegation at the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission on the implementation of the Luanda MoU between Rwanda and Uganda. / Emmanuel Kwizera

Over the last couple of weeks, Uganda has illegally arrested, detained and controversially expelled dozens of Rwandans, while a Rwandan torture victim succumbed to his injuries days after his arrival to Rwanda following weeks of torture in Ugandan military cells.

Subsequently, the Rwandan government last week wrote to Uganda urging "criminal investigation" into Silas Hategekimana's following a request from the bereaved family lawyers. 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com