Could we be witnessing the beginning of a good ending in the Rwanda-Uganda standoff? At least that is what it seems like as Rwanda’s concerns are finally beginning to get addressed one by one.
Hours before the Gatuna meeting, Ugandan media announced that the Ugandan passport of a one Charlotte Mukankusi, a senior member of a terrorist group very active in Uganda, had been revoked.
That passport alone was enough evidence that the terrorist group had been receiving direct support from the Ugandan government, one of the biggest bones of contention.
The fact that they also signed an extradition treaty will remove any excuse for not handing over fugitives.
One ambiguity that will be done away with is the whole misunderstanding being boiled down to a border issue yet that was just a tip of the iceberg. The next 45 days are very crucial as a verification team goes to Uganda to see whether it has disbanded hostile groups operating from there.
That will be the most delicate part of the whole negotiations that could make or break the peace treaty. But the mood on the other side of the border was festive, as Uganda seemed to have been most affected by the standoff having lost at least US$300 million during the crisis.
One question that remains is; why did it take all this time to defuse the tension? The answer is that there was no political will on the Ugandan side to end the standoff. It is a lesson learned the hard way that caused a lot of hardships.