Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame yesterday stepped on the Uganda’s soil ahead of UPDF commander land forces and first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba ‘s birthday state dinner, a first time since March 2018.
The two countries recently saw their long-term cordial relations take a turn for the worse in 2019, when Rwanda closed its border at Gatuna/Katuna accusing Uganda of harbouring persons who posed security threats to Rwanda.
Kagame also accused Uganda of harassing and arresting Rwandan nationals in Uganda, although the Ugandan government denied these allegations.
Although the border was fully re-opened recently after a two-year hiatus following talks between Kagame and first son Muhoozi, both governments confirmed that there were still some pending issues, which experts believe that Kagames visit will now try to diffuse.
Foreign Affais Minister Jeje Odongo, on Friday said that conversations were continuing to restore friendship between the two countries.
Rwanda and Uganda enjoy very close historical ties, ranging from culture, backgrounds of the two presidents among others. This made them strategic security and trade partners before the 2019 stand-off.
Before the border closure, Rwanda was Ugandas third largest market in the East African region after Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
With President Kagames visit, the negotiations to put the stand-off to an end are seemingly heading to the positive direction and both countries could go back to enjoying a cordial relationship that will spur growth and peace in the region.
It should also be noted that Kagame is one of the 27 NRA Original fighters among the nine who are still alive.
Others include Gen. Yoweri Museveni, Gen. Elly Tumwine, Brig. Julius Kihande, Brig. Fred Mwesigye, Brig. Andrew Lutaaya, Jack Mucunguzi, Col. George Mwesigwa, and Col. Charles Tusiime Rutarago.