Presidents of Rwanda and Uganda have decided to end hostilities that damaged trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The two leaders, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday signed an agreement in Angola to end months of tensions.
Signed in the Angolan capital Luanda, the signing was witnessed by the presidents of Angola Joao Lourenco, Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi and Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Both leaders said in a statement that they have agreed to “refrain from actions conducive to destabilisation or subversion in the territory of the other party (and) acts such as the financing, training and infiltration of destabilising forces”.
Rwanda’s Kagame said “The MoU addresses all these matters very clearly and I don’t think we should be picking and choosing what we implement and what we don’t.
We are going to address all these problems. By doing that indiscriminately, we will get where we want to be.”
Restoring the love
President Museveni was hopeful the resolution of the dispute should see both countries flourishing again politically, socially and economically.
“We have agreed on issues that will be implemented between our two countries largely meant to improve our security, trade, and political relations. Uganda is fully committed to enforcing this agreement,” said Museveni.
The dispute virtually threatened and impacted cross-border trade between the two countries.
Border towns and villages between Uganda and Rwanda were badly hit with businesses struggling to survive.
Rwanda on February 28 this year stopped cargo trucks from Uganda from entering through the Katuna-Gatuna border.
It claims it’s due to ongoing construction works. But it is believed the border closure was as a result of a travel ban on Rwandan citizens to Uganda.
Source of row
Rwanda had accused Uganda of harbouring armed groups to attack the country, a claim Uganda has denied.
Uganda has also been accused of arrest, imprisonment, harassment and deportation of Rwandan nationals.
Rwanda also claims Uganda had placed restrictions on Rwandan goods crossing over Uganda’s territory.
But there is a long historical link between Rwanda and Uganda which continues to spark suspicions.
Rwanda’s current leaders including President Paul Kagame, lived as refugees in Uganda for years.
They played a role in a guerrilla war that brought President Yoweri Museveni to power in 1986.
But four years later Kagame’s group broke away to launch another war in Rwanda with the backing of Uganda’s largesse and military.