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Ugandan president's son visits Rwanda in sign of warming ties

By AFP
Uganda The son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba pictured May 2016 was received by Rwandan President paul Kagame in the afternoon during the one-day trip.  By PETER BUSOMOKE AFPFile
JAN 22, 2022 LISTEN
The son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba pictured May 2016 was received by Rwandan President paul Kagame in the afternoon during the one-day trip. By PETER BUSOMOKE AFPFile

Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the powerful son of Uganda's president, met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali on Saturday in a visit that marks warming relations between the neighbouring countries after years of tension.

Kainerugaba -- a general who is rumoured to be a possible successor of his 77-year-old father, President Yoweri Museveni -- was received by Kagame in the afternoon during the one-day trip.

The border between the East African nations has been closed for nearly three years.

Rwanda's presidency said the pair met "to discuss relations between Rwanda and Uganda", tweeting a picture of the two together, the general wearing civilian clothes.

The Ugandan government also tweeted pictures of the meeting, saying "for a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable and politically united East Africa".

A source close to Kainerugaba earlier told AFP that "the issues between the two countries are on the agenda" of the meeting.

The meeting comes after Uganda's UN representative met with Kagame on Monday to deliver a message from Museveni, according to the Rwandan foreign ministry.

It also comes less than a week after Kainerugaba tweeted two photos of Kagame, one of the president as a young man wearing military fatigues and a more recent image of him in a suit.

"This is my uncle, Paul Kagame. Those who fight him fight my family. They should all be careful," the tweet said.

Kainerugaba's father Museveni and Kagame were close allies over the 1980s and 90s during struggles for power in their respective country, before becoming bitter rivals.

Rwanda abruptly closed its border with Uganda in February 2019, cutting off an important trade link.

Rwanda accused Uganda of abducting its citizens and supporting rebels seeking to topple Kagame.

For its part, Uganda accused Rwanda of spying as well as killing two men during an incursion into Ugandan territory in 2019 -- a claim Kigali denies.

Talks between Kagame and Museveni were hosted by Angolan President Joao Lourenco and Congolese leader Felix Tshisekedi, the last such meeting taking place in February 2020.

No meeting has been held since, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Relations between the countries also soured after an investigation last year found that Rwanda used Israeli Pegasus spying software to hack into the phones of Uganda's prime minister and foreign minister, among others.

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