November East African Community heads of state summit meet called off

East Africa

The East African Heads of State Summit that was scheduled to take place in Arusha on November, 30 Tanzania has been called off, the Nile Post has learnt.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is the chairperson of the East African Community.

According to a communication by Rwanda’s State Minister for East African Community, Olivier Nduhungirehe to the EAC Secretary General, Liberat Mfumkeko, the heads of state summit cannot be held in November as earlier scheduled and asked for a postponement.

“ I have the honor to both inform and request you to notify partner states that the above-mentioned summit has been postponed to a later date in January or February 2020 due to a request by a member of the summit,” Nduhungirehe said in the letter.

“A new date will be communicated later after consultations between East African heads of state.”

In 2018, the same summit was canceled twice in three weeks due to the bad blood between the Kigali and Bujumbura establishments.

The latest development comes at a time when good friends Uganda and Rwanda are not seeing eye to eye with each other.

Rwanda last week called off the second meeting that was scheduled to take place in Kampala on Monday, November 18 as part of the follow-up meetings meant to fast –track the implementation of peace pact made in Angola over the closure of the Uganda- Rwanda border.

This was the second time the meeting is postponed, after the October 13 one which was a follow up on the September 16 one in Kigali didn’t take place after Rwandan officials said they had not been contacted by their Ugandan counterparts.

Last week Uganda issued a protest note to Rwanda over the gruesome manner in which their (Uganda) citizens were shot dead in cold blood by Rwandan security forces inside Rwanda, one kilometer away from the Mpororo border post for allegedly smuggling tobacco.

“The Government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the murder of its nationals by Rwandan security personnel for allegedly being involved in smuggling of goods across the common border. The alleged crime cannot justify the high handed and criminal act by the Rwandan security personnel, against unarmed civilians residing along the common border,” the Ugandan government said in the protest note.

The relations between Uganda and Rwanda have in the past two years not been at their best with each of the two sister countries trading accusations against the other.

Whereas the Kigali establishment accuses Uganda of supporting forces bent on overthrowing their government and arresting their nationals, the Kampala government denies the claims and insists all those arrested were spies.

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