KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame must now prove their critics wrong by normalizing relations between their countries as pledged in the Angola peace summit on Wednesday, experts have said.
The two presidents on Wednesday signed an agreement in Angola to end months of tensions after the two leaders exchanged accusations of spying, political assassinations and meddling.
However, experts have said that now that the agreement is signed, the two leaders must exercise transparency between one another so as to permanently resolve the standoff.
Mr Olara Otunnu, the former UPC Party President and UN diplomat, says the two countries should stop taking state affairs casually.
“There has been an unexplainable showdown between the government of Uganda and Rwanda. I looked far and deep but couldn’t find what national interest on the part of Uganda was being injured by Rwanda. State matters should never be taken casually,” says Mr Otunnu who spent close to two decades at the United Nations as Uganda’s representative.
“For a conflict to reach that level of closing borders is a very big matter that involves national interests. I’m glad that this pact has f been signed. My only word of advice to Museveni is that matters concerning Uganda should be addressed strategically. In this particular case, the people of Uganda didn’t have any quarrel with the people of Uganda whatsoever. As for politics, this isn’t the moment to position and scheme for some personal ambition, the stake is too high for our country and our people,” he adds.
In March 2018, leaders of the two countries met in Kampala and agreed to resolve differences amid counteraccusations of fanning war against one another. However, this meeting did not resolve the differences that climaxed in the closure of the border by Rwanda in February this year.
Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, a seasoned educationist and former presidential candidate, says it is time the two countries looked beyond their personal differences.
“What is critical is that the two people at the helm of both countries (Museveni and Kagame) sit and talk about this because people blow them won’t do anything. You can’t separate the 2. We should be looking at how we can support each other in trade and all,” he says.
The signing in the Angolan capital Luanda, was witnessed by the presidents of Angola Joao Lourenco, Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi and Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso.
After the signing, Kagame said he did not anticipate any problems in working “more specifically with President Museveni to address what we have agreed to address”.