KAMPALA – There was no Rwandan delegation at the ‘Africa Now’ Summit that opened early this week at the Commonwealth Resort & Conference Centre, Munyonyo, Kampala.
The President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Presidents of Kenya; William Ruto, Tanzania’ Samia Hassan Suluhu and a representative of the President of Egypt were all present.
A ministerial delegation told journalists in Kigali at the Prime Minister’s Office that Rwanda was not invited, that is why it did not send a delegation.
“We did not see any invitation, maybe the invitation come through other channels,” said Olivier Nduhungirehe, the State Minister in Charge of East African Affairs.
Kigali and Kampala are embroiled in a bitter row, Kampala accuses Rwanda of introducing an export permit system for those who intend to export goods to Uganda, “to which there has been no successful applicant.”
President Paul Kagame accuses Uganda’s counterpart Yoweri Museveni of supporting Rwandan dissidents based in South Africa and DR Congo. Kigali claims Uganda military intelligence has arrested hundreds of Rwandans
Mr. Kagame recently received Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta in an unannounced visit. It followed Kagame’s visit to South Africa and Tanzania.
Observers have suggested a possible regional effort at mediation.
“It is understandable that the President of Kenya has an interest in knowing the situation that his neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda are facing,” Nduhungirehe, said adding that being a mediator was not on the agenda.
Nduhungirehe said that President Kenyata going to Uganda could be aimed at trying to know the case better.
Meanwhile, the ‘Africa Now’ Summit organizers found themselves in a social media scandal. They had informed the media Rwanda’s Paul Kagame was to be among the key Note Speaker and that he had confirmed his attendance.
The inaugural Africa Now Conference hosted hundreds of delegates at the Commonwealth Resort & Conference Centre, Munyonyo.