NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday met presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni in what is seen as an attempt at reconciling the two neighbours.
Mr Kenyatta was early Monday in Gabiro, Rwanda, addressing the National Leadership Retreat.
Without alluding to the Rwanda-Uganda standoff, the Kenyan leader sought to emphasize the importance of regional integration.
“At the end of the day, all we are trying to do is to improve the environment for business, to improve the environment for our people, improve their living conditions, build infrastructure, connect ourselves to each other. At the end of the day, Kenya alone cannot make it, Rwanda alone cannot make it, but together we have huge and tremendous potential for growing prosperity for our people and for our countries,” Mr Kenyatta said.
Before the retreat, he held talks with Mr Kagame though details of their discussions were not made public.
In the afternoon, he was already in Uganda meeting President Museveni at State House Entebbe.
The details of the meeting were also not made public.
“Hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta this afternoon at State House Entebbe. We discussed issues of bilateral interest to our countries,” Mr Museveni wrote on his Facebook wall.
The meeting has created hope that the standoff may be resolved through dialogue. Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Richard Sezibera last week said that his country was closing borders with Uganda in protest at what he said is Kampala arresting their nationals and harbouring people intending to overthrow the Kigali government. Uganda’s Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa dismissed Rwanda’s claims but added that all visitors, including Rwandans, must by Uganda’s laws.
While commissioning factories in Mukono on Saturday, President Museveni warned anyone planning to destabilise Uganda would be met with decisive destruction. He did not mention any group or person. But in response, Mr Kagame said: “When I hear somebody say no one can destabilize their country, I agree. No one should actually be destabilizing that country but that country should also not be destabilizing others, I think it is a fair deal.”