The first meeting of the Ad Hoc Commission on the implementation of the Luanda Memorandum of Understandings between Rwanda and Uganda took place on 16th September 2019 in Kigali. The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of External Relations of Angola, Manuel Domingos Augusto and Gilbert Kankonde Malamba, the Deputy Prime Minister of Interior of DRC.
The Rwandan delegation was led by Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe, the Minister of State in charge of the East African Community while Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs leads the Ugandan delegation.
Rwanda was also represented by Gen Maj Frank Mugambage, Rwanda’s ambassador to Uganda; the Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye; the Minister of Local Government, Prof. Shyaka Anastase; Gen Maj Joseph Nzabamwita, the Secretary-General of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and Col Anaclet Kalibata, the head of External Intelligence at NISS.
Uganda’s delegation also included the Minister of Defense, Gen. J.J Odongo Abu; Amb. Joseph Ocwet; the Director-General External Security Organisation (ESO), the State’s Attorney General, Byaruhanga and Uganda’s ambassador to Rwanda, Oliver Wonekha.
Facilitators included Angolan Ambassador to Rwanda, Horacio Uliengue; Angolan Foreign Affairs Minister and DRC Deputy Prime Minister and head of Intelligence Inzun Justin Kakiak.
Following the meeting, Rwanda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe explained that both countries will meet again in Kampala within 30 days to assess the implementation of today’s resolutions.
“There is a willingness to restore relations between Rwanda and Uganda citizens and be assured of their security,” he said.
Both countries agreed to follow due process in dealing with each other’s citizens; reiterated commitment to refraining from acts of destabilizing each other; finalize the extradition treaty in order to provide a framework for future exchange of criminal fugitives and cease all forms of hostile propaganda in both mainstream and social media.
Both countries also agreed that the issue of free movement of persons, goods, and services across the common border and other outstanding issues would be discussed in the next meeting that was due in Kampala, Uganda after 30 days to review the implementation progress of Luanda MoUs.
Commenting on the appointment following 30 days which ended five days ago, Nduhungirehe told IGIHE that ‘The invitation will come from Ugandans. We are not the ones supposed to send the invitation.”
He said that no progress made following the previous meeting in Kigali.
During the first meeting, Rwanda provided a list of Rwandans detained in Uganda and the Republic of Uganda committed to verify the information for the purpose of processing those named through a due judicial process and releasing those against whom no evidence of criminal conduct will have been found.
Rwanda, Uganda relations worsened since 2017.
Rwanda expressed concerns over Rwandans who travel to Uganda for business purposes but are abducted, imprisoned and tortured accused of being Rwanda’s spies.
In March 2019, the Government of Rwanda officially advised citizens not to travel to Uganda for their security following testimonies of over 1000 Rwandans tortured and deported from Uganda.
Rwanda also accuses Uganda of housing dissidents intending to threaten state security.