Africa: Museveni, Kagame Back to Angola for Talks

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, left, shakes hands with Rwandan President Paul Kagame as Angolan President Joao Lourenco looks on after signing a pact aimed at ending standoff (file photo).
1 February 2020

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his Rwandan counterpa, Mr Paul Kagame are on Sunday expected to meet in Luanda, the Angolan capital in a second attempt at talks to resolve a border dispute between Uganda and Rwanda.

The presidents, whose advance teams from either country have already reached Angola, will review the August 2019 peace pact signed by the duo in the same country. It will also be the second time the two presidents are meeting since August last year.

According to the Angola Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President João Lourenço, Angola has invited the two for talks. They will be joined by Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

DRC has been the overseer of the implementation of the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding.

Uganda's permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador Adonia Ayebare tweeted on Saturday morning that he was "In Angola to attend this important meeting".

Rwanda's Minister of State for East African Affairs Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe said "with good faith and resolve, we can end this crisis."

This month makes it a year since the dispute came to the fore with Rwanda closing its Katuna border with Uganda.

Kigali accused Kampala of detaining her citizens and supporting armed groups that want to overthrow the administration there.

Uganda said Rwanda had infiltrated her security agencies.

Two meetings held between government officials - one in Kigali in September and another in Kampala last December - were not enough to resolve the dispute.

On Wednesday, Mr Kagame addressed diplomats in Kigali telling them that "he was not about to tell his citizens to return to Uganda because he has no control over their while in Uganda".

As the dispute raged on, trade between the two countries was the biggest victim. Uganda lost up to USD 200m (Shs735 billion) in potential earnings if the border was open.

Kigali has lost some money too but not to the extent of Uganda.

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