Kigali: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba who doubles as Uganda’s Land Forces Commander has arrived in Rwanda on a mission of restoring his father’s friendship with President Paul Kagame.
According to sources, Muhoozi will later meet President Kagame at Kacyiru.
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After, Muhoozi and Kagame will consider plans to appoint focal persons to take the lead in negotiations to resolve outstanding challenges.
Gen Muhoozi is meeting Kagame as Museveni’s Senior Advisor in charge of Special Operations.
What Went Wrong Between Museveni, Kagame?
Tensions escalated sharply earlier last year, as both men hurled accusations of sabotage, and Rwanda sealed its border with Uganda, halting trade and issuing a travel advisory. In August 2019, Kagame and Museveni met in Luanda, Angola to sign a memorandum of understanding meant to end their standoff and repair relations.
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The brinkmanship between Rwanda and Uganda has already taken an economic toll. The Ugandan Ministry of Trade recorded millions of dollars in losses, resulting from the border closure, and accused the Rwandan government of effectively imposing a trade embargo.
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The current showdown may be the worst in years. In addition to the border closure, Museveni and Kagame have taken to jousting in highly public arenas. It all began in February 2019, when Ugandan authorities claimed that “external forces” were plotting to overthrow Museveni, and seemed to point a finger at Rwanda. Rwandan diplomats in turn asserted that Uganda had detained, tortured and illegally deported Rwandan citizens and sheltered dissidents.
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In March 2020, Kagame used an annual leadership retreat in Rwanda to lob his own incendiary allegations against Museveni, claiming that he has been trying to topple him for the past two decades and declared, “No one can bring me to my knees.”
Not to be outdone, Museveni responded. “Those who want to destabilize our country do not know our capacity,” he said while commissioning factories outside of Kampala. “Once we mobilize, you can’t survive.” Months later, in July 2019, police in Uganda arrested 40 Rwandans living in the country. The intelligence services cited unspecified security concerns.