Rwandans on Thursday, June 23, gave Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni a heroic welcome as the 77-year-old long-serving leader arrived in Kigali for the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm).
Beginning on June 20 and running through June 25, the 2022 Chogm is being held under the theme: ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.’ A number of leaders from former British colonies are in attendance.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are in Kigali for the meeting.
Museveni travelled to Kigali, Rwanda for the first time in five years. Travelling by road, Museveni crossed to Rwanda through the Katuna (Gatuna) border which was closed for years until early this year. Rwandans lined the streets to welcome Museveni, a regional security and political kingpin.
“I have arrived in Kigali, Rwanda for the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). I thank the people of Rwanda for the warm welcome. Murakoze Cyane!” said Museveni.
In the past three years, the relations between Uganda and Rwanda were cold, with both countries and their leaders accusing each others of plotting to destabilize either nation. Kigali accused Kampala of harassing, arresting and detaining Rwandan nationals over accusations that they were spies sent by President Paul Kagame. Kampala, too, accused Kigali of mistreating Ugandans staying in Rwanda.
There were deportations on either side. There were even reports of Kigali spying on top government and military officials, including using notorious spyware.
Negotiations to resolve the disagreements between the two brotherly countries dragged on for about three years since the closure of the Katuna (Gatuna) border point. The Covid19 pandemic made matters worse as countries across the world suspended international travel.
But Musevei sent his son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba to represent him in talks to restore relations between Rwanda and Uganda. Following his meetings with President Kagame in Rwanda, Kigali reopened the Gatuna (Katuna) border point after almost three years of closure. (Read Story Here).
Kagame also recently visited Uganda for the first time in about four years. The Rwandan president, who Museveni’s son calls ‘uncle’ attended Muhoozi’s birthday dinner at State House Entebbe. (Read Story Here).