By Our Reporter
Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Sam Kutesa has reiterated Uganda;s commitment to fruitfully implement the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed in Luanda, Angola, with hope to end hostilities between Uganda and Rwanda.
Minister Kutesa said that Uganda was openly seeking for the cooperative and collaborative relations with Rwanda like other neighboring countries.
Kutesa, who led Uganda’s delegation to Kigali, was speaking at the inaugural meeting of the ad hoc commission created to implement the Luanda MoU.
The meeting was also attended by Minister Manuel Domingos Augusto of Angola and Deputy Prime Minister of DRC Gilbert Malamba .
Angola and DRC facilitated talks that led to the MoU signing in Luanda last
Speaking at the opening of the Monday meeting in Kigali, minister kutesa said that the citizens of Uganda and Rwanda were disappointed by the current state of affairs.
“Uganda is home to Banyarwanda who are constitutionally recognized as one of Ugandas tribe,” he said.
“Our people are interconnected and our current state of our bilateral relations has affected them. They question and desire better.”
The minister added that Rwanda and Uganda are geographically linked as neighbors. “Our two countries also have long and deep historical, economic, social and cultural ties. During the petition of Africa, the artificial borders disrupted communities living along the border, separating clans and families, disrupting trade and pastoral routes; what we know as part of Uganda ended up in Rwanda and part of Rwanda ended up in Uganda.”
Uganda therefore Kutesa said, was hopping for the most out of the Rwanda agreement.
“Our meeting today should be viewed as part of an important process and not an event, he said.
The peoples of our two countries more than anybody else are anxious and need to see progress. Therefore, we should consider immediate steps to normalize relations. ”
Kutesa expressed optimism for several issues to be agreed upon as talks carry on between the two countries.
We expect to agree on parameters and specific timelines on implementation of this M.O.U, he said.
Among the issues agreed upon to fast-tracked in mending the relations of the two countries, was the immediate reopening of the closed katuna boarder.
On his part, Rwanda foreign Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe said fruitful implementation of the Rwanda agreement would take collective commitment.
It should be our collective that the Rwanda MoU will bring back normalcy, trust and confidence between our two sister countries he said.
We should therefore view this process as a new opportunity anjd momentum for normal relations between our two nations. Much as the signing of the MoU was important, its good faith implementation is the decisive factor. This what our citizens expect from us.
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