Uganda, Rwanda officials meet in Kampala over border tension

Friday December 13 2019

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (left)

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (left) shakes hands 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. FILE PHOTO 

By MONITOR TEAM

A meeting between Uganda and Rwanda that should have taken place on October 17 as a follow up to the September 16 one in Kigali to ease tension between the neighbouring countries is scheduled to take place today.

“Uganda and Rwanda will tomorrow (Friday) hold a follow-up meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo to the one held in Kigali in September to concretize the issues in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Luanda, Angola in Aug 2019,” Uganda government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo tweeted on Thursday before he added that the meeting will be attended by the delegations from Angola and DR Congo who are the facilitators to the Luanda MoU.

According to Mr Opondo, all delegations have confirmed their participation through Uganda's Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Following mediation by Angola’s President Joao Lourenco and a first meeting in Kigali where top government officials from both sides spent half a day locked in talks negotiating a path to normal diplomatic relations, Uganda agreed to organise the second meeting within 30 days, which elapsed on October 17 before it was postponed.

The meetings are meant to fast-track the implementation of an agreement signed in August by both President Paul Kagame and President Museveni in Angola, to end two-year long hostilities between the neighbours.
Key on the agenda for the Kampala meeting is further discussions on the reopening of the two East African nations’ common border for goods and people.

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The border has been closed since late February, and Rwanda stopped its citizens from crossing into Uganda and restricted the entry of Ugandan goods into the country.
Business community and communities in both countries have suffered effects of the impasse over the border closure.
Ugandan exporters are desperate to access their Rwandan and Burundian markets, while Rwandan markets have run out of stock of popular Ugandan products especially beverages and foodstuffs, cement and consumables, with no adequate or in certain cases expensive alternatives.

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