A second meeting between Rwanda and Ugandan ministerial delegations, as part of regional efforts to diffuse their standoff, has again been called off.
The meeting was supposed to take place on October 16 in Kampala, a month after the first one in Kigali.
The delegations from both sides include foreign ministers, internal security ministers, intelligence chiefs and high commissioners.
According to Rwanda, positions which have also been voiced by President Paul Kagame himself, Kigali received the cancellation letter from Uganda after the Ugandan media had reported about it. This, says Kigali, is clear indication of the unseriousness with which its taking Rwanda’s concerns.
The date was moved to November 13. However, Kagame said last week that Kigali had been informed of a possible change to November 18.
“Meeting or no meeting,” Kagame said at a press conference, resolution of Kigali’s issues with Uganda are what matter.
Now, perhaps frustrated at the pace of how Uganda is handling the meetings, Kigali has taken the initiative. In a diplomatic note leaked Thursday evening, Rwanda’s High Commissioner Maj Gen Frank Mugambage asks for the meeting, due next week, to be moved.
No date is suggested by Rwanda.
The cancellation comes days after two Ugandan traders were shot dead by Rwandan border security as they allegedly attempted to smuggle. Uganda released statement claiming the men were shot from inside Uganda and at close range.
Meanwhile, Uganda’s parliament today held a tense debate over the Rwanda-Uganda issue. The Prime Minister has been asked to brief the House on the state of affairs.
In Rwanda, President Kagame gave an interview with NTV Kenya television that aired on Sunday in which he said ultimately “common sense will prevail” and the two countries will come to a settlement.
The ministerial meetings was one of the elements of Memorandum of Understanding siged between Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on August 21 in Angola.
Weeks later, the ministerial meetings is the only element of the MoU that has been implemented.