Museveni receives hero’s welcome in Rwanda CHOGM visit

People wave to a motorcade of President Museveni at Gatuna border in Rwandaon June 23, 2022. PHOTO/PPU

What you need to know:

  • The Chogm brings together 54 nations that were colonised by the British. 

President Museveni got a hero’s welcome during his first visit to Rwanda in five years as the two countries repair fractured relations. 

Thousands of Rwandans lined up on the roadsides from Katuna border to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, to welcome President Museveni, who is on a four-day visit to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm). 

Mr Museveni is expected to also meet Rwanda President Paul Kagame to strengthen ties and find solutions to the fighting in eastern DR Congo. 

“The President is due to attend the Commonwealth Business Forum Heads of Government and Business Leaders Roundtable at the Intare Conference Arena. Later he will host various bilateral meetings at his residence,” a State House statement issued yesterday reads in part. 

The Chogm brings together 54 nations that were colonised by the British. 

Mr Museveni last visited Rwanda before hostilities between the two countries started in 1998

Counter accusations

Uganda was accusing the Rwanda government of spying on them, while Rwanda accused Uganda of supporting Rwandan dissidents to topple President Kagame’s government and also persecuting their nationals.

Mr Museveni and Mr Kagame’s friendly relationship was reignited after negotiations in which each country agreed to end hostilities. 

In April this year, Mr Kagame visited Uganda ending the hostilities.

President Museveni has been popular given the fact that many of the leaders of the Rwanda Patriotic Front that overthrew the previous government were members of the Uganda National Resistance Army (now Uganda People’s Defence Forces). 

However, the relations between the leaders of the two countries have been on and off after the armies of Rwanda and Uganda fought in the DR Congo twice between 1998 and 2003.

The visit also comes at the time when tensions between Rwanda and DR Congo are rising over relentless attacks by the M23 rebel group, which is dominated by fighters of Rwandan origin.

Border issue

This prompted the DR Congo to close its borders and also cancel all bilateral agreements with Rwanda. The M23 rebels group, which the DR Congo alleges is sponsored by Rwanda, have also blocked Uganda’s key trade route to Eastern DR Congo, after its members captured Bunagana border town on the Congolese side.

Uganda is now friendly to both warring countries. 
Some Congolese politicians, who have been accusing Uganda of siding with Rwanda in the alleged support of M23 rebels, using their social media platforms viewed President Museveni’s visit to Rwanda as furthering military ties against the Congolese troops in Eastern DR Congo. 

Last week, DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi wrote a public letter to heads of State that will attend Chogm in Kigali to demand Rwanda to stop the aggression on his country and also withdraw their troops from Congolese territory.


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