The United Nations has welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Uganda and Rwanda, aimed at normalizing bilateral relations.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni signed the MoU on 21 August in Luanda, Angola, ending months of tension between the two countries.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the agreement, saying peace was vital in the region’s progress.
According to a statement, his spokesperson said that Guterres “encourages the parties to implement the agreement in good faith, with a view to restoring friendly relations and cooperation between the two neighbouring States, in the interest of peace, stability and sustainable development in the region”.
Guterres noted the important role played by the Angolan President João Lourenço and Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi in facilitating the signing of the MoU.
“The Secretary-General stands ready to support the momentum generated through this and other initiatives to advance peace, cooperation and integration in the region”, the statement concluded.
The prolonged tension between Uganda and Rwanda led to closure of the border, affecting the movement of people and goods between the two East African countries.
The signing of the MoU paved the way for the re-opening of the border, a move hailed by President Kagame.
“When you have an open border, you have goods and people. When you create a problem for people to move across the border from one side to another, then you have closed the border to people and goods,” he said.
Both Kagame and Museveni committed to respecting the MoU to ensure better relations between their countries.