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President; Museveni and Kagame shake hands after signing of MoU to ease tensions between Rwanda and Uganda.PPU photo

First Rwanda-Uganda Meeting Ends Without Discussing Border Row

posted onSeptember 16, 2019

By Fred Kiva

The first talks between Uganda and Rwanda have ended without discussing the border conflict between the two East African countries.

The meeting to end the diplomatic row between Uganda and Rwanda convened on Monday in Kigali and it was highly expected that delegations from the two countries and those of Angola and DR Congo would discuss and resolve the border tension leading to reopening of the closed Katuna border.

However, according to a joint communique issued at the end of the Kigali meeting, the border issue will be discussed at the second meeting scheduled to convene in Kampala a month later. “Both parties agreed that the issue of free movement of persons, goods, and services across the common border and other outstanding issues shall be discussed in the next meeting. The next meeting will be held in Kampala, Uganda, after 30 days to review the progress of the implementation of the Luanda MoU,” indicated a joint communique signed by Uganda’s team leader, foreign affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Olivier Nduhungirehe Rwanda’s State Minister for foreign affairs.

The Katuna border was closed by the Rwanda government in February this year, citing harassment of its citizens in Uganda. The border has remained closed despite jeopardizing trade flow between the two countries. The talks in Kigali followed a pact signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame of Rwanda last month in Luanda, Angola, to ease the tensions between the two countries.

The signing of the pact was witnessed by the host, Angola President João Lourenço, and DR Congo’s Félix Tshisekedi. The pact provided for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Commission for its implementation. It was agreed then that the first meeting for the Ad Hoc Commission will be held in Kigali, Rwanda on Monday 16th September 2019, which is today.

Meanwhile, other resolutions at the Kigali meeting were; both Rwanda and Uganda agreed to cease all forms of hostile propaganda in mainstream and social media, the countries also agreed that due process would be followed in dealing with each other’s citizens. During the meeting, Rwanda provided a list of Rwandans it claimed were detained in Uganda, while Uganda committed to verify the claims, “for purposes of processing those named through due judicial process and releasing those against whom no evidence of criminal conduct will have been found.”

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