Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame are expected in Angola on Wednesday this week to seal an agreement that could end the political hostilities which culminated in the closure of the Uganda-Rwanda border.
The Chinese News Agency, Xinhua, quoted a statement issued by the Angolan President, Joao Lourenco, on Saturday, indicating Museveni, Kagame and DRC leader Felix Tshisekedi would attend a summit in Luanda to “witness the understanding reached between Uganda and Rwanda”.
“Heads of state of Angola, DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda will come together in the Angolan capital on August 21, to witness the understanding reached between Uganda and Rwanda,” reported Xinhua.
“According to a statement from the Angolan presidency, distributed to the press on Saturday, the quadripartite summit will bring together President Joao Lourenco of Angola, Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.”
“Rwanda and Uganda reached an understanding after contacts undertaken by Angola with DR Congo’s assistance, according to a note of the civil office of President Joao Lourenco,” the agency said.
The submit this week is a follow up of the July 12 meeting convened by Lourenco and attended by Museveni, Kagame and Tshisekedi in Luanda, Angola.
The meeting, which sought to resolve the differences between Kagame and Museveni, also discussed regional security, cooperation and strengthening of ties among the four countries
They also stressed the need for the consolidation of peace and security as a foundation for economic integration. Ambassador Patrick Mugoya, the permanent secretary at the foreign affairs ministry, could not confirm if the two leaders had reached an agreement.
“Angola and DR Congo asked to mediate between the two leaders, but I do not know what has been agreed upon. Why don’t you just quote the President of Angola if he has said so? I do not have details,” he stated.
Don Wanyama, Museveni’s senior press secretary, said President Museveni is indeed scheduled to attend the summit in Luanda this week.
“However, whether there is a deal or not, I am not sure. But the President is expected at the summit,” he added.
Since February, the Rwandan authorities blocked trucks carrying Ugandan goods from crossing into Rwanda. They also blocked Rwandans from entering Uganda but allowed Ugandans to travel to and from Rwanda. Initially, the Rwandan leaders said the main border point at Katuna had been closed to facilitate road rehabilitation works on the Rwandan side.
Rwanda said Uganda could access their market through other entry points, including Cyanika in Kisoro district, Kamwezi in Rukiga and Mirama in Ntungamo district, but it turned out that they, too, had been closed to Ugandan cargo.
Trucks loaded with goods from other countries like Kenya, were being allowed through the border posts into Rwanda. Later, Rwanda’s foreign affairs minister, Richard Sezibera, argued that Rwandan citizens were stopped from traveling to Uganda because they were not safe to visit Uganda. He claimed that several Rwandans were incarcerated in Uganda.
Rwandan authorities accused Uganda of harboring anti-Rwanda agents. The Uganda government denied the accusations. About three weeks ago, asked for an update on efforts to resolve the standoff between the two countries recently, Museveni, who was on his wealth creation tours in southwestern Uganda, told journalists to leave the issue to him and Kagame.
Museveni has asked Ugandans living around the Katuna border post to be calm as talks to find a lasting solution to the differences between Uganda and Rwanda continue. Museveni said everything was being handled diplomatically, to ensure the best result for both countries.