There was no Rwandan delegation at the ‘Africa Now’ Summit that opened today in Kampala, Uganda.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is attending, as well as President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia, Tanzanian Vice President, Samia Hassan Suluhu and Kenyan Deputy President, Dr William Samoei Ruto.
A ministerial delegation today afternoon told journalists in Kigali at the Prime Minister’s Office that Rwanda was not invited, that is why it did not send a delegation.
The team was briefing media on the just ended government retreat and the resolutions adopted there.
“We did not see any invitation, may be the invitation come through other channels,” said Olivier Nduhungirehe, the State Minister in Charge of East African Affairs.
Kigali and Kampala are embroiled in a bitter row, and Rwanda seems to have decided Uganda either acts on its concerns or no relations at all.
President Paul Kagame accuses Uganda’s counterpart Yoweri Museveni of supporting Rwandan dissidents based in South Africa and DR Congo. Uganda military intelligence has arrested hundreds of Rwandans.
Some have bee dumped at border in horrible state after torture. Rwanda also accuses Uganda of blocking its exports and confiscating others.
President Kagame yesterday March 11 received Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta in a unannounced visit. It followed Kagame’s visit to South Africa and Tanzania.
Observers have suggested a possible regional effort at mediation.
“It is understandable that the President of Kenya has an interest in knowing the situation that his neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda are facing,” Nduhungirehe, in the media briefing today.
“Being a mediator was not on the agenda,” he added.
Nduhungirehe said that President Kenyata going to Uganda could be aimed at trying to know the case better.
Meanwhile, the ‘Africa Now’ Summit organizers found themselves in social media scandal. On the program, it was written “Keynote Speaker, H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Uganda.”
The conference hosting hundreds of delegates takes place March 12-13.