The recent appointment of envoys between the governments of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) points to a turning point in the previously sour relations between the two nations.
In the past, the two neigbours have pointed guns at each other, not because they were sworn enemies, but rather because of the unfortunate historical pitfalls that in a way shaped their relations.
Diplomatic ties were severed many years back and the two nations, despite sharing a common border were suspicious of each other.
But today, this unfortunate history seems to be taking a back stage. The two nations have decided to bury their past and forge a future defined by the principles of good neighbourliness.
And this should not be a surprise to many.
Earlier this year, the two governments agreed to jointly tackle the root cause of their troubles, that is, dealing with the notorious genocidal forces that continue to wreck havoc in Eastern DRC while at the same time, hatching plans of returning to Rwanda to finish off their “business.”
In a rare joint military operation code named “Umoja Wetu” armies of the two countries jointly pursued these genocidal forces, killing dozens and leaving the rag tag rebel group in disarray. Hundreds surrendered and returned home in peace.
The success of this operation left cynics and lifetime critics of this country speechless.
But the beauty of this operation was that it sent out a stronger message especially to the mighty powers of this world that African nations do not need prescriptions from their capitals to solve their own problems.
Now, where lies good neighbourly relations, prosperity is bound to follow. Rwanda and the DRC need to build on the latest appointment of diplomats to ensure that the two countries never slip back to the dark days.
The growing ties must translate into better conditions for the people of the two nations. First, the outstanding security concerns need to be fully addressed.
Cross border trade needs to flourish with no impediments. Suspicions must be put aside and investments by businessmen and women from both countries emphasised and facilitated.
This is the only reward we can give to the people of these two nations.