Uganda and Rwandan officials prepare to meet in an attempt mend the broken friendships that has been on for some time next week on Monday, political analysts and members of the business community have weighed on the matter.
The Ugandan team is set to arrive in Kigali for the high level meeting with the Rwandan officials to follow up on the Memorandum of Understanding signed by both heads of states early last month in Luanda-Angola.
Experts however appeal and argue that both countries should try hard to bury the hatchet that has worsened early this year with Rwanda’s closure of her border points to Uganda to restricting her citizens from traveling to Uganda, a move that has held many in captivity who were benefiting from the cross boarder movements and trade
The Chairperson of Transparency International-Rwanda Marie-Immaculee Ingabire says she has no doubt Rwandan and Ugandan citizens share similar expectations ahead of the meeting.
“My expectations are, and they are expectations of all citizens of both countries, that our leaders and representatives should follow through on the Luanda agreement. They should think about the citizens. All we want is for relations to normalize again and Rwandans and Ugandans visit each other without any fear” She said
She further urges leaders to recall that they endorsed the regional integration agenda.
In last month’s agreement, President Museveni and his Rwandan Counterpart President Paul Kagame committed to normalizing relations which hasn’t been achievement yet. The border points are still closed and Rwandans have always been advised no to step on Ugandan soil by Rwandan officials.
Dr Charity Wibabara, a lawyer and visiting lecture at the University of Rwanda’s centre for conflict management, observed that conflict is part and parcel of society.
“That’s why in Latin they say that Ubi societasibi jus,literary implying that where there is society, there is a need for laws and regulations” she says.
She further narrates that in as much as the conflict is normal, it should not be protracted because when it takes too long, the interests ofboth countries are jeopardized in terms of free movement of people and good, development and other distractions.
“That is why we are hoping that in this meeting both countries are going to pay attention to the interests of citizens”-She added.
This comes at the heels of the tiff when Uganda last evening deported 32 Rwandans probably to ease the Monday meeting.
The highly anticipated meeting on Monday will be led by Rwanda’s Minister of state in charge of the East African community Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe and the Rwandan Delegation While the Uganda delegation will be led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Museveni’s government Sam Kutesa
In the quadripartite summit and the memorandum of understanding that Museveniand Kagame accented to that was dubbed as a peace agreement, both leaders committed to respecting the sovereignty of each other’s other and the neighboring countries, refraining from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of the other party and neighboring countries, thereby eliminating all factors that may give such perception, as well as acts such as the financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing forces
Rwanda accuses Kampala of arbitrary arresting and torturing hundreds of Rwandans over the past few years and Uganda is also linked with armed groups especially the Rwandan dissidents that allegedly want t over throw Kagame from the country’s top job.
Adopted from The New Times-Rwanda