Rwanda, Uganda Peace Talks Underway in Kigali

Photo: New Times
Rwanda and Ugandan officials meet in Kigali.
16 September 2019

Rwanda and Ugandan officials have on Monday morning started a one-day meeting in Kigali to come up with a solution to end the ongoing impasse in relations between the two countries.

The meeting is a follow up on an agreement signed by both countries in Luanda, Angola last month.

Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda's Minister of State in charge of the East African Community, is leading the Rwandan delegation while the Ugandans are led by Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa.

Rwanda's delegation also comprises Major General Frank Mugambage, High Commissioner to Uganda, Anaclet Kalibata, the Director-General of External Intelligence at the National Intelligence and Security Services.

It also includes Anastase Shyaka, the Minister of Local Government, Johnston Busingye, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Major General Joseph Nzabamwita, the Secretary-General of the National Intelligence and Security Services.

The Ugandan team comprises of Oliver Wonekha, Uganda's High Commission in Rwanda, William Byaruhanga, Attorney General, Sam Kutesa, and Joseph Ocwet, from the Office of the President as well as Gen JJ Odongo Abu, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

The two countries are joined by a team from Angola and DR Congo, which are both playing a pivotal role to help Rwanda and Uganda reach an agreement.

In the Luanda agreement, between President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, committed to working to normalize relations, which have been deteriorating amidst Kigali's complaints that Kampala was arbitrarily arresting Rwandans and also aids rogue elements to stabilize its peace.

After the Luanda meeting, a commission for the implementation of the pact was set up.

The agreement signed was expected to be effected immediately but there has not been any progress yet.

The commitments include; respecting the sovereignty of each other's and of the neighboring countries; and refraining from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of the other party and neighbouring countries, thereby eliminating all factors that may such perception, as well as acts such as the financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing forces.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Presidents João Lourenço of Angola, Félix Tshisekedi of DR Congo and President Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville.

Over the last couple of weeks Uganda has illegally arrested, detained and controversially expelled dozens of Rwandans, while a Rwandan torture victim succumbed to his injuries days after his arrival to Rwanda following weeks of torture in Ugandan military cells.

Subsequently, the Rwandan government last week wrote to Uganda urging "criminal investigation" into Silas Hategekimana's following a request from the bereaved family lawyers.

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