The four Heads of State of Uganda, Angola, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) have Wednesday signed a pact committing to regional cooperation and security.
Presidents João Lourenço (Angola), Paul Kagame, (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Felix Tshisekedi (DRC) concluded the Quadripartite Summit with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The signing was also witnessed by President Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazaville who is the current Chairman of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Uganda, Rwanda, Angola and Congo Brazaville are all members of the ICGLR.
The pact signed in Luanda, Angola, follows months of frosty relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
Speaking after the signing of the MOU, President Museveni said although he had been in touch with President Kagame through their two countries’ mechanisms, he welcomed efforts by their counterparts, the Heads of State of Angola and DR Congo.
“I may have my own understanding of the problem, but somebody has a different view. That is why sharing becomes important. I am very grateful that President Lourenço and President Tshisekedi came in.”
I had already been in touch with President Kagame through our own channels, but this is like reinforcement, President Museveni added before emphasizing that Uganda was “reaffirming what we have always held as principles of the African Union.
The pact will improve economic and political relations between our countries, President Museveni said in a statement later on Wednesday.
“We have agreed on a raft of issues that will be implemented between our two countries, largely meant to improve our security, trade, and political relations,” he explained.
Museveni said Uganda is fully committed to enforcing the MOU before lauding Presidents Lourenço and Tshisekedi for overseeing the process as well as Nguesso who witnessed the signing of the pact, as the current Chairman of ICGLR.
On his part, President Kagame said Rwanda would not be found wanting in implementing the MOU.
Later, Rwandan officials tweeted that President Kagame thanked the leaders of Angola and DR Congo for their “attitude and brotherly commitment to helping us find solutions between Uganda and Rwanda”.
“We had the opportunity to broadly and extensively discuss many issues as we understood them, that underlined this problem, hence the MoU we have reached today which stipulates the path to follow as we continue to try to resolve this problem,” he added.
Kagame applauded Presidents Lourenço and Tshisekedi for “the work and wise counsel they put into the process of bringing us together”.
The summit is a follow up meeting of the July 12 summit by the same heads of state in Luanda where Kampala and Kigali reportedly agreed to resolve tensions that have erupted between their two countries in recent months.
Ugandans and Rwandans on social media welcomed the pact, saying that they look forward to Rwanda’s opening of the border and to normalizing of relations between the two countries.