Kutesa and co are in Kigali for the harmonisation of the implementation process of a pact signed between Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame.
KIGALI - A Ugandan delegation led by foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa in Rwanda's capital Kigali attended the first meeting of the joint Ad-hoc Commission set up to help implement the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Rwanda and Uganda in Luanda in August.
The meeting was aimed at normalising relations between the two neighbouring nations.
After months of high-level political dialogue, Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame signed an MoU on regional co-operation and security, setting the pace for the improvement of political and trade relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
According to the pact, the two leaders agreed to “respect the sovereignty” of Uganda and Rwanda and other neighbouring countries.
The two leaders also agreed to “resume as soon as possible the cross-border activities between both countries, including the movement of persons and goods, for the development and improvement of the lives of their population".
Kutesa and co are in Kigali for the harmonisation of the implementation process of the accord.
Officials from around the region attended the meeting, particularly from neighbouring DR Congo and Angola.
Foreign affairs State minister Olivier Nduhungirehe is leading the Rwandan delegation. Manuel Domingos Augusto, Angola's external affairs minister and Gilbert Malamba, DR Congo's Deputy Prime Minister of interior, security and customary affairs, attended the meeting.
Rwanda and Ugandan officials today started a one-day meeting in Kigali to come up with a solution to end the ongoing impasse in relations between the two countries.— The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) September 16, 2019
The two countries are joined by a team from Angola and DR Congo.https://t.co/AemKarQVdY
Last month's agreement between Museveni and Kagame was signed at the second Quadripartite summit.
It was facilitated by the Presidents Joao Manuel Lourenco (Angola) and Felix Antoine Tshisekedi (DR Congo).
The signing was also witnessed by President Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazzaville.
After the summit, which was a follow-up on the first Quadripartite summit that was held on July 12, the five presidents addressed a joint press conference, describing the event as a true depiction of “seeking African solutions for African problems”.
According to the pact, Museveni and Kagame agreed to: “refrain from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of other party and neighbouring countries thereby eliminating all factors that may create such perception, as well as that of acts such as the financing, training and infiltration of destabilising forces.”
The leaders also agreed to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of the nationals of the other party residing or transiting in their national territories, in accordance with the laws of their countries.
Museveni and Kagame also agreed to comprehensively co-operate in politics, security, defence, trade, and culture in the spirit of Pan-Africanism and regional cooperation,
To implement these resolutions, the leaders agreed to establish an ad-hoc commission headed by ministers of foreign affairs and composed of ministers of internal administration and heads of intelligence, to see this through.
Since February this year, Rwanda and Uganda have had trade tensions, which culminated into Rwanda closing its border point at Gatuna.
The closure of the border has disrupted trade between the two countries. On average, Uganda derives $200m (about sh744b) annually from trade inflows with Rwanda.