Rwanda

Kutesa Meets Kagame in Rwanda

Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa has held talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

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The duo met at Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) on July 3, 2019.

Kutesa also was in Kigali to attend Rwanda’s Liberation Day celebrations at Amahoro Stadium on July 4.

“The meeting lasted about two hours,” said an official who was briefed about the engagement but preferred anonymity to speak freely.

It is understood Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Dr Richard Sezibera also graced the meeting.

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What transpired in the meeting remains unclear but it came against the backdrop of heightened tensions between the two countries.

ChimpReports understands Kutesa met Kagame in his capacity as President Museveni’s special envoy.

Kutesa, a key ally of president Museveni and close friend of Kagame, has been mediating the Rwanda-Uganda crisis to normalize ties and avoid a military confrontation.

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He has been personally delivering President Museveni’s letters to Kagame.

Both Museveni and Kagame, who fought together in many battles, have been exchanging letters in the past one year.

But the consistent mistrust and suspicion over each other’s next move has left both countries on war footing.

Both countries maintain a high level of military preparedness much as Kagame recently ruled out the possibility of an all-out war.

Kigali maintains a trade embargo on Ugandan goods and continues to accuse security forces of harassing Rwandans – a claim Kampala denies.

On the other hand, Uganda says all Rwandans were welcome to Uganda but that wrong elements hell-bent on committing crimes would be dealt with firmly.

Gatuna border closure has led to a spike in smuggling and hurt businesses in both countries.

Uganda earned about $2.64 million from its exports to Rwanda in March this year, a drop of $11.8 million from the previous month, according to statistics from the Bank of Uganda.

In Rwanda, the prices of foodstuffs and essential goods which they previously imported from Uganda, have hit the roof, increasing the cost of living for many ordinary people.

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