Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame downplay tensions

Monday March 26 2018

Rwandan President Paul Kagame (left) and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni meet at State House Entebbe on March 25, 2018. PHOTO | COURTESY


Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has downplayed reports of tension between Kampala and Kigali.

He made the statement on Sunday during Rwanda President Paul Kagame’s one-day state working visit in Entebbe.


Mr Museveni held a closed-door meeting with Mr Kagame and his delegation that included ministers and senior security officials.

Mr Kagame was accompanied by his Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Muishiwabo and the head of Rwandan intelligence Maj-Gen Nzabamwita.

Mr Museveni told journalists that he and Mr Kagame had agreed to have Ugandan and Rwandan intelligence services forge a close cooperation.


The cooperation, he said, should not only be in security matters but also development.

"There is no fundamental problem between Uganda and Rwanda,” Mr Museveni said.

“We don't even have a border problem like with Kenya on issues related to Migingo Island. With Rwanda there is nothing really."

President Kagame, who did not go into details of the security tension between the two countries, only emphasised the need to work together, bringing out facts and taking right decisions.


When further asked about Ugandans in Rwanda having their contracts terminated under mysterious circumstances, Mr Kagame dismissed the reports, saying there are “many things said out of context”.

The meeting between the two heads of state comes hardly a week after President Museveni called off his trip to Kigali, where he was slated to attend a meeting on the African Continental Free Trade Area Treaty.

The decision to cancel the visit, according to sources, followed a disagreement between President Museveni's advance security team and the Rwandan security officials in Kigali.

Before this incident, Mr Kagame had skipped the East African Heads of State Summit held in Kampala on February 22 to raise funds for health and infrastructure projects.

In recent months, there was a purge in the Uganda Police Force in which some senior officers are accused of, among others, kidnapping and aiding the repatriation of Rwandan dissidents.

The policemen are currently on trial in the General Military Court Martial.

The two governments have also at different times accused each of other of supporting dissidents and espionage.