Uganda, Rwanda Move to Restore Bilateral Ties

President Paul Kagame on Saturday met with Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, commander of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), to discuss steps necessary to restore bilateral relations between Rwanda and Uganda.

Muhoozi, who is also Uganda’s first son, was in Rwanda in his capacity as the Ugandan president’s advisor responsible for special operations.

The President’s office did not immediately announce the details of their meeting, but described it as cordial and productive.

 “President Kagame and General Muhoozi Kainerugaba had cordial, productive and forward-looking discussions about Rwanda’s concerns and practical steps needed to restore the relationship between Rwanda and Uganda,” according to Presidency.

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The two countries are trying to mend their fractured diplomatic relations, which have been icy for close to four years now.

In recent weeks, Ambassador Adonia Ayebare has been in Kigali to convey a special message from President Museveni of Uganda.

Besides being the Ugandan Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ayebare is also Museveni’s Special Envoy to Rwanda.

Since long, Rwanda has protested Uganda’s support for elements plotting to destabilize it.

Another grievance lodged by Rwanda is that Rwandans in Uganda continue to be harassed by security operatives who illegally detain and dump them at the border without due process.

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Besides affecting citizens on both sides, the dispute has undermined the $200m cross-border trade that reached a record level.

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