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Ugandan president’s son in Rwanda to meet President Kagame

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni

Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the powerful son of Uganda’s president, arrived in Rwanda on Saturday to meet President Paul Kagame for 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 expected to meet Kagame in the afternoon during the one-day trip, the state-affiliated Rwanda Broadcasting Agency reported.

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

Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Uganda’s government made no official comment, but a source close to Kainerugaba told AFP the general “will be meeting senior Rwandan officials and the President of Rwanda”.

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

The meeting comes less than a week after Kainerugaba tweeted two photos of Kagame, one of the president’s 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 countries, 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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