LUANDA, Angola – President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing cooperation between their countries.
The MoU, to which President Felix Tshisekedi of DRC and President João Lourenço of Angola appended their signatures, was signed on Wednesday in Luanda, Angola during the second quadripartite summit.
The summit was convened to find a lasting solution to mild existing differences between Uganda and Rwanda.
“President João Lourenço (Angola), President Kagame (Rwanda), President Museveni (Uganda) and President Tshisekedi (DRC) conclude the Quadripartite Summit with the signing of an MoU committing to regional cooperation & security. The signing was also witnessed by President Sassou Nguesso (Congo Brazzaville),” a statement from the Rwandan Government said.
The summit was chaired by the President of Angola.
The summit is a follow up of the July 12 summit, when Mr Lourenco and Mr Tshisekedi welcomed the “political will of Rwanda and Uganda to continue dialogue with a view of finding a solution to existing problems.”
Since February this year, Rwanda and Uganda have had trade tensions, which culminated into Rwanda closing its border point at Gatuna.
Rwanda stopped its citizens from crossing into Uganda, accusing Kampala of illegally arresting, torturing and deporting its citizens.
Uganda on the other hand, is accusing Rwanda of spying on its territory and infiltrating its security agencies.
The two countries further accused each other of economic sabotage. While Ugandans can travel to Rwanda unhindered, they are not authorised to bring back goods with them, which has resulted in a supply deficit in local Rwandan markets.
Uganda already earns multiple times more in exports to Rwanda, which is its third-largest East African trading partner after Kenya and South Sudan, than the forex earning Kigali picks from Kampala.
In normal times, 300 to 400 vehicles ply to Rwanda via Katuna/Gatuna border, carrying household items, food, minerals, beverages, construction materials, and other manufactured goods.
Uganda last year raked in $197m from exports to Rwanda, lower than the $254m peak earning three years ago, but still twelve-fold higher than $20m worth of Rwandan exports to Uganda