Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, on Saturday evening, listed a number of elements that Rwanda and Uganda have in common, while speaking at a ceremony to celebrate Uganda’s 48th Independence Day anniversary.
The colourful banquet organised by the Uganda High Commission in Rwanda attracted members of the Ugandan Community in Rwanda, diplomatic corps and Senior Government officials from Rwanda.
Minister Mushikiwabo, the guest of honour and Minister of Foreign Affairs, congratulated the people Uganda on their special day, adding that the two countries have maintained very close bilateral relations.
“As we gather here as friends of Uganda to celebrate this anniversary, I would like to seize this opportunity to express the appreciation for the people and the Government of Rwanda for the brotherly relations existing between our two countries. Indeed our ties are tight,” Mushikiwabo said.
“On both sides of the border, we have the same names, we have the same aspiration, we have business interests and we have family relations, hence our joy to be part of Uganda’s independence,” she added.
Mushikiwabo added that the brotherly relations between the people of Rwanda and Uganda are “genuine and solid” from way back in history and that the respective governments of the two countries are closely linked by common positive causes and values which are strengthened day by day.
“Rwanda and Uganda share immense post colonial heritage including issues of dictatorship, liberation struggle and a common positive vision to uproot the pangs of poverty, ignorance and socio-economic ills,” Mushikiwabo added.
The Minister added that the bilateral relations between Rwanda and Uganda are those that transform into actions in the different forms of cooperation the two countries share, backed by strong diplomatic ties.
She cited a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding the two countries have signed under the Joint Permanent Commission bilateral framework on trade, peace and security, justice socio-economic development and on regional integration, all aimed at bettering the lives of the people of the two countries.
Uganda’s High Commissioner Richard Kabonero who also doubles as the dean of diplomatic corps in Rwanda, noted that through the cooperation of the two countries, a lot has been achieved including the just concluded EAC Education Expo which has since attracted other EAC member states.
Kabonero said that the two countries have continued to achieve a lot in terms of trade and in terms of peacekeeping despite some elements making an effort to destroy these achievements, citing the July 11 terrorist attack in Uganda and the recent UN Mapping Report as some of the efforts of negative forces.
“If I may comment on the other challenges that we face in our unique region, the Great Lakes region, we have strived to overcome some of these forces including negative forces but unfortunately we continue to be blamed for doing good.”
“I can assure you Honourable Minister that Uganda stands with Rwanda as far as the so called Mapping Report is concerned. We don’t know what they are trying to map, but definitely to accuse for people, to outsource investigations and then assign blame without our input is a height of mischief,” Kabonero said to the applause of the crowd.
Kabonero congratulated the newly elected Rwanda Government and added that it is hope the February elections in Uganda pass without an incident. As the dean of diplomatic corps, Kabonero also introduced some of the new diplomats present at the function.
Ugandan Jazz Maestro Isaiah Katumwa entertained the guests at the dinner before the Minister Mushikiwabo and the Uganda envoy toasted to the good relations.