Agreement to cease hostility valuable for Rwanda-Uganda relations: official

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed Wednesday by Rwanda and Uganda to cease their hostility is "valuable", a senior Rwandan official said.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame signed the MOU during a quadripartite summit in Luanda, Angola, which was also attended by the host Angolan President Joao Lourenco and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) leader Felix Tshisekedi.

The two neighboring countries recently had experienced a frosty relation as the two sides blamed each other for different issues including people's safety, spying, border issues, groups that are hostile to the Rwandan government. Rwandan Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera in March "strongly" advised Rwandan people not to travel to Uganda due to "ongoing arrests, harassment, torture, incarceration without consular access and deportation etc."

The legal instruments seal the understanding reached between the two central African countries and will help overcome the tension that has characterized their relations. A State House statement from Uganda said leaders of Uganda and Rwanda agreed to respect each other's sovereignty and of neighboring countries.

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Rwanda is keen on implementing the agreement to normalize the relations, Minister of State in charge of East African Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe said in an interview with state broadcaster Radio Rwanda.

Zeno Mutimura, a former Rwandan diplomat, described the agreement as a positive move toward restoring the relations between the two countries. "We hope it is going to work. We can hope it is going to be put in action," he said.

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RwandaUgandaPaul Kagame