There was no communique after the representatives came out of the closed talks at 11:40 p.m. on Friday even when the day had started with hope that there could finally be something to write home. The talks started at 4 p.m.
Uganda and Rwanda team take a photo after failed talks in munyonyo
After eight hours closed in a hall at
Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo, delegations from Rwanda and Uganda failed to
reach an agreement and decided to refer the matters to the head of states of both
There was no communique after the
representatives came out of the closed talks at 11:40 p.m. on Friday even when the
day had started with hope that there could finally be something to write home. The talks started at 4 p.m.
Earlier, Angola's Minister for External Affairs Manuel Augusto Domingos had said ‘both countries
showed the will to resolve the dispute peacefully”.
The Ugandan team was led by the Foreign
Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana. Also
present on the Uganda side was State Minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania,
the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) boss Brig
Abel Kandiho and deputy Chief of Defense Forces Lt general Wilson Mbadi.
On the Rwanda side sat
Ambassador of Rwanda to Uganda Frank Mugambage and the Minister for East African Affairs
Olivier Nduhungirehe. There were also other delegates from Rwanda.
Present as witnesses were the
Angolan Minister for External Affairs Manuel Augusto Domingos and Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) Deputy Prime Minister Gilbert Kankonde.
Inside the meeting room,
where journalists were not allowed, Rwanda laid on table ‘evidence’ of Uganda’s
support to the armed dissidents who want to overthrow the Kigali administration. But we have been told that Uganda rejected this flatly.
However, Rwanda presented evidence of constant
contact, including phone calls, between some Ugandan officials and the people
it accuses of rebelling against the government. Rwanda also said some of the
people who attempted at attacking it had fled to Kisoro in Uganda.
Also, Rwanda told Uganda that
it had continued to illegally detain Rwandans even after promising to stop in
the first meeting in Kigali. Uganda said there was no merit in the accusations.
A few minutes to midnight, as
they left the room, both Kutesa and Nduhungirehe smiled lazily, perhaps knowing
that the dispute between Rwanda and Uganda is much deeper than had been
They consequently referred the matter to
the two principals – Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame – the comrades who understand its
depth better than anyone else.
Nduhungirehe described the
talks as “deep, frank but cordial.”
For now, the status quo
remains – border closed, Rwandans not allowed to travel to Uganda and it
remains as uncertain as ever on when the dispute can be solved.