After a period of close to one year, President Yoweri Museveni has finally made a decision to send the Commander of Land Forces and First Son Lt General Muhoozi Kainerugaba to Rwanda on a courtesy visit to President Paul Kagame, deep throat sources inside Urugwiro Village, the official residence of the President of Rwanda have told the Nile Post.
According to a source that preferred anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, Kagame is expecting Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba starting tomorrow Saturday, January 22 and returning to Uganda on Sunday.
Sources in Kigali further confirm that they have seen presence of a helicopter carrying Gen Muhoozi’s advance team from the Special Forces Command, the elite force charged with protecting and providing security to the first family, arrive in Kigali this morning to make preparations for his arrival.
Gen Muhoozi’s ground vehicles left Entebbe this morning in a heavily guarded convoy and arrived in Kigali this evening.
The details of the meeting between the Rwandan president and his special guest are not yet available to us, but the discussions are expected to be related to the long standing tensions between Uganda and Rwanda.
The visit by the first son, comes days after he tweeted on his official account praising President Kagame.
This is my uncle, Afande Paul Kagame. Those who fight him are fighting my family. They should all be careful. pic.twitter.com/YwBM5DwX0S
— Muhoozi Kainerugaba (@mkainerugaba) January 16, 2022
‘’This is my uncle, Afande Paul Kagame. Those who fight him are fighting my family. They should all be careful,” Muhoozi said in a tweet that many say was preparing ground for the talks between Uganda and Rwanda.
Museveni had earlier sent Kagame a ‘special message’ through Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, Uganda’s Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations.
It is suspected that the special message announced the visit by Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
A ray of hope, at last?
Following the meeting between President Paul Kagame and Ayebare, the Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo commented on twitter saying, “Good to see talks continue at all levels, but meetings and envoy visits have not led to tangible results on Uganda’s part. Still no accountability for terrorist elements operating against Rwanda inside Uganda, and harassment of innocent Rwandans continues.”
This tweet was meant to cast doubt on the commitment from the Ugandan government towards resolving the tensions between the two countries.
Observers say, the decision by the Ugandan president to send his own son to Rwanda is a move intended to show Uganda’s commitment to mend relations with Rwanda.
Bookmakers also say Gen Muhoozi is the only person in the inner sanctum of power in Uganda, despite being Museveni’s family member that not only understands the problem between the two countries very well but also has a positive view of President Kagame, thus making him a special and acceptable envoy whom Kigali will welcome.
Observers further say that Kagame regards Gen Muhoozi well and sees him as a positive force in improving relations between the two brotherly countries, because of the prior discussions the two have had on the matter, before it escalated to what it is now.
This makes the Commander Land Forces a welcome ambassador, unlike other envoys whom Museveni has sent through diplomatic and non-diplomatic channels that have not yielded much.
Analysts say, most officials from Uganda or Rwanda have in the past failed to find a lasting situation to the tensions because they are always positioning themselves for promotion and personal career growth, while Gen Muhoozi is not concerned about that which makes him the best broker from Museveni.
The sour relations between the two countries became more pronounced in February 2019, when Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda and issued a travel advisory strongly warning its citizens against traveling to Uganda.
Rwanda accuses Uganda of being linked to hostile groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) — an armed rebel group operating in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), which is a Rwandan Opposition group – all allegedly fighting Rwanda.
The Ugandan government has dismissed the allegation as not true.
On the other side, Uganda accuses Rwanda of infiltrating its security agencies, with authorities saying some Rwandan security officials had direct and indirect contact with key strategic security personnel in Uganda who have sent information outside of official channels to Rwanda, a claim the Kigali establishment denies.