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Uganda – Rwanda Relations seem Strained but Uganda thinks Phone Calls will Change the Mood

Uganda - Rwanda Relations seem Strained but Uganda thinks Phone Calls will Change the Mood

Uganda’s president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has prescribed a course in telephoning as one of the solutions that could facilitate smooth relations between his country and neighbouring Rwanda.

The president was addressing journalists after holding a meeting with Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame who is in Uganda on a one day working visit.

Both presidents refuted media allegations that relations between the two countries are deteriorating over security disagreements.

A number of incidents that are being commented about in the media, many would be properly addressed if only there was better communication. We have phones, we should talk more.

‘‘You find a minister finds it very difficult to telephone another minister in Rwanda. I think we need a course in telephoning,’‘ explained President Museveni.

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“A number of incidents that are being commented about in the media, many would be properly addressed if only there was better communication. We have phones, we should talk more,” he added.

Diplomatic tensions?

Uganda local news outlets reported that a tension between the two countries. It claimed a disagreement over security arrangements forced Museveni to skip the African Union Summit held in Kigali last week.

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Before that, President Kagame had skipped the East African Heads of State Summit. The Summit was held in Kampala on February 22 to raise funds for health and infrastructure developments.

In addition, President Museveni shared that recent security developments in Uganda were being manipulated.  Cases such as the reshuffling of the inspector general of Police, Kale Kayihura, was because foreign spies had infiltrated the countries security agencies.

The media concluded that the foreign agents being referred to were Rwandan operatives working for the Kigali government.

But today, both leaders vehemently denied the conflict, arguing that the media should strive to drive debate with facts.

‘‘There’s no fundamental conflict between Rwanda and Uganda, we don’t even have a border problem like that of Kenya,’‘ said President Museveni refering to the conflict over the Migingo island in Lake Victoria.

‘‘It is always a pleasure for me to visit Uganda. Every time we meet is an opportunity to strengthen our friendship, fraternity and its our people going to benefit on what we can do together,’‘ said Paul Kagame.

The meeting was attended by several officials from both governments. It included Uganda’s new security minister, Gen Elly Tumwine and Rwandan intelligence chief, Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita.

Also in attendance were foreign ministers of Uganda and Rwanda, Sam Kutesa and Louise Muishiwabo respectively. Their presence was key in issues such as deepening cooperation in the areas of defence, energy, infrastructure development and trade.

Africanews