Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at ending a long-running rivalry that had halted business at their busiest borderline for over six months.
The signing was witnessed by two Presidents; João Manuel Goncalves Lourenço of Angola the host and facilitator and Félix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who presided over the signing.
Among key issues the two countries agreed upon was: Respecting the sovereignty of each other and the neighbouring countries.
The two countries also agreed to refrain from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of other party and neighbouring countries, thereby eliminating all factors that may create such perceptions as well as financing, training and infiltration of destabilising forces.
On 21st February this year, Rwanda closed her border to Uganda at Gatuna on allegations that Uganda was aiding rebel groups that were destabilizing Mr Kagame’s government, Uganda denied all accusations.
In June following the plea by the other neighbouring countries, Rwanda opened the border but after two weeks the border was again closed on the allegation that the road was under construction.
However, according to the brief of 10th June this year to the Senate Commission for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Richard Sezibera explained that as government, they had not changed their minds regarding the travel advisory against Uganda.
Currently, Rwandans are still banned from travelling to Uganda, which has accused Rwanda of effectively imposing a trade embargo.
As one way of resolving the impasse, the two presidents met on Wednesday in Angola Capital Luanda to sign an MOU to return peace and business which were at a standstill at the border.
The two leaders agreed to protect and respect the rights and freedoms of nationals of other party residing or transiting in their nationals territories following the law of the country. Rwanda had accused Uganda of arresting and deporting its nationals on Ugandan soil.
Museveni and Kagame also agreed business to resume as soon as possible. Such as cross-border activities between both countries including the movement of persons and goods for the development and improvement of the lives of their population.
In the document seen by this website, each signatory is aware that will be held accountable for non-compliance of the agreement signed
According to the document the MOU shall enter into force immediately upon signature.
The two presidents thanked their fellow leaders who helped them to see that the wrangles at their borderline are settled.
Kagame said: “I deeply thank the leaders of Angola and (Congo) for their attitude and brotherly commitment to helping us find solutions between Uganda and Rwanda,” according to his office’s Twitter account.
Museveni also posted on his official twitter account and thanked his fellow leaders.
“Today, I joined my counterparts from Angola, DR Congo, Rwanda and Congo Brazzaville in Luanda, as together with President Paul Kagame, we signed an agreement to improve the political and economic relations between our countries.
“We have agreed on a raft of issues that will be implemented between our two countries, largely meant to improve our security, trade, and political relations. Uganda is fully committed to enforcing this agreement
“I thank Presidents Joao Lourenco of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo for overseeing this process. I also thank His Excellency Dennis Sassou Nguesso for witnessing the signing as Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region,” Museveni’s twitter posts.