Presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda yesterday, August 21, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the Angolan Capital, Luanda, committing to resolving the conflict between their two countries peacefully.
The MoU names what the two leaders need to do to normalize relations between their two neighbouring states.
In the four-point and 8 sub-elements MoU, the two leaders committed to, among other things, refrain from “destabilization or subversion in the territory of the other party… [or engaging in] acts such as the financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing forces”; respecting “the rights and freedoms of the nationals of the other party residing or transiting in their territories” and “resume…cross-border activities between both countries”; etc .
Although, understandably, the MoU is written in a generalized diplomatic language, Rwanda openly accuses Uganda of supporting and financing dissidents and rebel groups fighting the country; sabotaging the economy and arresting, illegally imprisoning and deporting Rwandans in Uganda while the latter says Rwanda closed its borders and imposed “economic embargo” on it.
The signing of this road map to peace is highly commended and mediators, Presidents João Lourenço of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo should be hailed for giving priority to peacemaking and getting the conflict parties to the negotiating table and signing deal.
The peacemakers should also be applauded for, in this MoU, including point four that reads: “This memorandum of understanding shall enter into force immediately upon signing”. This is wise peacemaking and peace-deal craftsmanship.
Stating that the peace deal takes immediate effect not only saves time but also helps to keep the hopes and the momentum raised by signing alive while making verifying, say by the media and ordinary citizens attempting to cross borders, possible when the story is still fresh in peoples’ minds.
At The Chronicles, we believe that fully implementing this MoU is not only in the interests of both countries and their leaders─since the conflict isn’t in the interest of either state, but also in the interest of regional peace, stability and economic advancement.
We also believe that verifiably implementing this peace deal will also raise trust, confidence in and respectability of Africa and its leaders since doing so would be to honour the promise of “Africans finding solutions to Africa’s problems”.
And, at The Chronicles, we believe implementing this MoU is possible but will require the political will of leaders in both countries; specifically Presidents Museveni and Kagame walking the talk.
For conflict parties, implementing this deal would be responsible and patriotic leadership. At The Chronicles, we call on both leaders to do the needful.