Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | After a week of building tension, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has today met Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The impromptu bilateral meetings comes on the heels of simmering diplomatic stand-off between Uganda and Rwanda. Kenyatta first went to Rwanda and held bilateral talks with Kagame at the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Combat Training Center in Gabiro, Eastern Province where he is chairing the 16th National Leadership Retreat.
Kenyatta thereafter flew to Entebbe and met Museveni at the State House. The President’s Press Secretary, Lindah Nabusayi tweeted at 7:22PM communicating the meeting. “President Museveni and Uhuru Kenyatta today held a meeting at State House Entebbe #BilateralRelations,” Nabusayi tweeted.
When contacted, she refused to divulge whether Kenyatta and Museveni discussed the snowballing diplomatic row between Uganda and Rwanda.
Rwanda, two weeks ago closed its Gatuna boarder in Kabale district, reportedly to upgrade their One Stop Boarder Post. The move, was, however construed as an attempt to slow down or stop entry of Uganda goods in Rwanda.
But the story, quickly turned to allegations by Rwanda that Uganda is hosting and aiding dissidents, plotting to overthrow the Kigali government. Rwanda also claimed that Uganda is arresting and torturing its citizens. After closing the boarder, Rwanda told its citizens to stop entering Uganda. however, Uganda has denied all the allegations.
Kagame while opening the leadership Retreat on Saturday spoke about Uganda-Rwanda tensions at length. Kagame said Uganda has failed to address its concerns for over 20 years. Kagame said he has over years raised the issue to Museveni who remains indifferent.
In what has been interpreted as a veiled response to Museveni’s continued assertions that no one will distablise Uganda, Kagame said those who don’t want their countries to be distablised should also not be distablising other countries.
Though Kagame said he has begged Museveni several times to solve concerns raised by Rwanda, he in a defiant tone said no one is going to bring him to knees. He urged Rwandans never to be brought to their knees.
“So you can destabilize, attempt or even do it actually. You can do us harm, there are many things people who wish you ill, many things, bad things, there are many things they can do. You know, even at a personal level, you can kill somebody, you can shoot me with a gun and kill me,” he said.
Kagame added; “that is a possibility for some people, but there is one thing that is impossible, that cannot happen to me, and I wish it shouldn’t happen to our country. Nobody, anywhere can bring me to my knees. Absolutely not.”