Rwandan, Ugandan officials to meet over normalizing relations

Senior Rwandan and Ugandan officials are set to meet in a video conference on Thursday, June 4, as both countries continue to work out a return to normal good relations that have been on a freeze for about three years now.

Physical meetings are no longer an option because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have confirmed a virtual meeting by the Ad Hoc Commission on the implementation of the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries will be held to review progress.

 

The Ad Hoc Commission is headed by Ministers in charge of Foreign Affairs from both countries.

 

It comes after a February Summit, the fourth of its kind, gave Uganda a month to verify allegations and evidence presented by Rwanda; including the illegal arrest of Rwandans and anti-Rwanda groups freely operating in Uganda.

Kampala was expected to take all measures possible to address issues as raised in the Summit.

The Ad Hoc Commission is on Thursday expected to review progress and, if all goes well, make recommendations as to call for a fifth Summit.

Mid last month, there were signs of hope as Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Vincent Biruta told a press conference that up to 176 Rwandans being held in Uganda’s prisons were set to be released.

Biruta described it as a move in the right direction towards restoring ties.

The February Summit was held at the Rwanda-Uganda border crossing of Gatuna. It was attended by both Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, and their Angola and DR Congo counterparts who are the facilitators of the talks.

Some high ranking Ugandan officials have recently commented on social media, suggesting progress in the improvement of relations.

Last month, Biruta termed their comments as mixed signals since they are often followed by actions contrary to the spirit of integration.

jkaruhanga@newtimesrwanda.com

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