The son of the Ugandan president visits Rwanda as a sign of closer relations


Muhuzi Kaynerugaba, the powerful son of the Ugandan president, arrived in Rwanda on Saturday to meet President Paul Kagame on a visit that marked the strengthening of relations between the two neighboring countries after years of tension.

The Rwandan state broadcaster reported that Kinyerugaba, the general rumored to be a possible successor to his father, 77-year-old President Yoweri Museveni, is expected to meet Kagame in the afternoon during the day trip.

The borders between East African countries have been closed for nearly three years.

The Ugandan government has not made any official comment, but a source close to Kinirugaba told AFP that the general “will meet with senior Rwandan officials and the Rwandan president.”

“The issues between the two countries are on the agenda,” the source added.

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The meeting comes less than a week after Kinirugaba tweeted two photos of Kagame, one of the president as a young man in military uniform and a more recent photo of him in a suit.

“This is my Uncle Paul Kagami. Those who fight against him are fighting against my family. Everyone should be careful.”

Kainerugaba’s father, Museveni, and Kagami were close allies during the 1980s and 1990s during their countries’ power struggles, before they became arch rivals.

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

Rwanda accuses Uganda of kidnapping its own citizens and supporting rebels seeking to overthrow Kagame.

For its part, Uganda has accused Rwanda of spying and killing two men during an incursion into Ugandan territory in 2019, which Kigali denies.

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

No meeting has taken place since then, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

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