Expectations of reaching a sustainable solution on Rwanda-Uganda tension remains a dilemma as ministers of foreign affairs, diplomats on both sides are gearing to meet on the discussion of the implementation phases.
The two heads of state gave a message of the willingness of implementation towards the agreement after the signing of the Luanda pact, despite, the continued deportations by Ugandan side and other cases of harassment.
Museveni said “Uganda is fully committed to enforcing this agreement,” while Rwanda’s Kagame pinned that it may take a bit of time for the two countries to understand each other, but I think we have come a long way”
The signing of the Luanda agreement attracted big applause on social media as the citizen of both countries celebrating the steps taken by two countries.
Thus, just after days of the signing of the agreement, there was censorship of the media on both sides of Rwanda and Uganda mainly of the government at foremost The NewTimes of Rwanda and The NewVision seemingly looked as adding an injury to the wound on the already faulting relationship of the once allied countries.
The 10 article-agreement focuses on the respect of the sovereignty of each other countries and refraining from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of the other party and acts such as financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing armies.
Also in the Agreement lies a clause providing space for both countries to establish an Adhoc committee for the implementation of the MoU headed by the ministries of the foreign affairs, ministries responsible for internal affairs and heads of the intelligence.
The meeting scheduled to be held on Monday 16th is expected to reach reasonable steps as regards to the implementation phase of the Luanda Agreement.
According to The NewTimes Kigali accuses Kampala of arbitrarily arresting and torturing hundreds of Rwandans over the past few years. Uganda has also been linked with armed groups that seek to destabilize Rwanda.
Experts speak out
Marie-Immaculée Ingabire, the Chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda, said she has no doubt Rwandan and Ugandan citizens share similar expectations ahead of the meeting.
“My expectations are, and they are expectations of all the 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.
In last month’s agreement, President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan Counterpart President Yoweri Museveni committed to normalizing relations.
Dr Charity Wibabara, a lawyer and visiting lecturer at the University of Rwanda’s Centre for Conflict Management, observed that conflict is part and parcel of society.
She said: “That’s why in Latin they say that Ubi societas ibi jus, literary implying that where there is society, there is a need for laws and regulations.”
But in as much as the conflict is normal, she explained, it should not be protracted because when it takes too long, the interests of both countries are jeopardised in terms of free movement of people and goods, development and so on.
“That is why we are hoping that in this meeting both countries are going to pay attention to the interests of citizens,” she added.
Fred Seka, the Chairperson of the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA), who also heads the Rwanda Freight Forwarders Association (RWAFFA), said that what they are looking forward to is the resolution of issues.
“As a business community, we will be happy to see a good flow of cross-border trade between the two countries happen in a safe environment. This benefits the economies of both countries.”
It is high time, he said, the countries got their relations back on track.
The Express News