December 12, 2019

Rwanda, Uganda Ministerial Talks Open In Entebbe

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This was in Kigali for the first meeting of the Adhoc team

The Adhoc committee involving Rwandan top officials and their Ugandan counterparts are meeting this Friday for the second meeting that had been postponed three times.

The delegations include Foreign Ministers, Internal Affairs Ministers, Intelligence Chiefs and High Commissioners.

The Adhoc committee was part of the MoU between President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni at their closed-door summit in Angola in August aimed at diffusing the ongoing fallout.

The first meeting took place in Kigali in mid September. The next was due in mid October in Kampala, which, and the other two planned, failed to take place.

Each side blames the other for the failed meetings.

Uganda’s Government Spokesman Ofwono Opondo confirmed the latest meeting in a Twitter post late Thursday. It will be held at the Speak Resort Munyonyo, in Entebbe – outside Kampala.

There has yet to be comment from Rwanda as to whether they will be in Entebbe. One of the previous postponed meetings was actually announced, but then did not happen as Rwanda said it received invitation letter after news reports.

The Adhoc committees are supposed to deal with how to stop virulent propaganda in each other’s media, which also led to each side blocking news sites based in the other.

There is also the issue of Rwandans jailed in Uganda, who Uganda accuses of spying.

Then there is the thorny issue of each accusing the other side of backing rebels and opposition groups of the other. It is the biggest elephant in the room.

There is also allegation by Uganda that Rwanda has closed its border and is not allowing in Ugandan exports. Museveni’s government has asked Parliament to allow it to borrow over $600m to fill a hole in its finances, which observers say is a result of the Rwandan blockade.

The two sides also have many other issues that have not been mentioned, but remain key, such as Uganda’s decision to drop the railway line that would eventually have reached Rwanda’s border.

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