Obasanjo commends Museveni for taking step to solve row with Rwanda

Sunday September 22 2019

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (left) with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame after signing an MoU to end the hostility between the two countries in Luanda, Angola, on August 21, 2019. NMG PHOTO 

By URN

Former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo has lauded President Museveni for taking steps to remove hurdles that had created a row with Rwanda.

Mr Obasanjo said that he was in the country earlier in the year and talked to Mr Museveni about ways to resolving the issue and pushed for a quick resolution. He also commended Uganda for releasing up to 32 Rwandans who were in Ugandan prisons.

Mr Obasanjo who is in Uganda on a courtesy visit to Mr Museveni was speaking during a meeting at State House Entebbe on Friday evening.

"When I came in, the day before yesterday, I saw in the newspaper that 32 Rwandans have been released and your Excellence, you remember that when I came here to see you, this was one of the sticking points that that I have to talk to you about and that you've taken action to start clearing hurdles in your relationship with your brother. I want to thank you for that," he said.

The discussion is an indicator that the bad blood between Uganda and Rwanda had not just been the concern of citizens in both countries but also many current and former leaders across the continent. It also depicts the depth of the seriousness of the row.

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Rwanda closed the Gatuna border in February 2019, accusing Uganda of arresting its citizens and supporting a rebel outfit that intended to overthrow the regime in Kigali. The closure saw trade between both countries drop to almost zero.

Uganda is expected to lose up to three-quarters of its annual export earnings from Rwanda because of the row, cutting at least 0.1 per cent from our GDP growth this year.

But last month, President Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame met in Luanda, Angola and signed a peace pact mediated by President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço. This was followed by negotiations on how to operationalize the Luanda pact, which started in Kigali, this week.

Next month, the Kigali team will be in Kampala, where among other things, they will discuss the final opening of the border.

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