Editorial: The talks have failed but there is no giving up

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

To be honest, there were no surprises from the Kampala meeting; all the signs were there that Kampala was not ready to cede.

The amount of disinformation circulated by some sections of Ugandan online publications was a clear indication that something was cooking. The barrage of fake news from sources close to the powers-that-be were sure signs that whatever the Ugandan delegation would bring on the negotiating table, sincerity was not one of them.


So it was not surprising when facilitators requested Uganda to expel known members of RNC and other armed groups in order to build confidence and it refused.


The recent setbacks the armed groups have faced in the Democratic Republic of Congo also gave a treasure trove of information that further strengthened Rwanda’s bargaining chips. But if Uganda capitulated, it would lose face. All the stone-walling is about saving face.


Business-wise, Rwanda is quite comfortable in the current impasse that it hardly feels the pinch, but that cannot be said of the Ugandan business community. But they have it within their grasp to compel their government to play ball since the diplomats are not making any progress.

The fact that the parties could not come up with a joint communique means there is still a long way to go, but that should not be a reason to give up. The prosperity of the people of both countries depends on good reasoning and therefore cannot be sacrificed on the altar of ego.

When all have failed, it is always useful to remember the mantra; “The truth will set you free”.


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