RWANDA’S President Paul Kagame has visited his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni near Kampala, in what is seen as a sign of improving ties after several years of trading accusations over spying and supporting dissidents.
In January, Rwanda re-opened a border crossing with Uganda that had been closed for three years since Kigali accused Kampala of harassing its nationals and supporting those bent on overthrowing the government.
In turn, Museveni’s government accused Rwanda of conducting illegal espionage in Uganda.
On Sunday evening, Kagame attended a state banquet for the birthday of Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who is seen as the Ugandan leader’s potential successor.
The pair discussed a number of issues including regional peace, stability and cooperation, Museveni said.
“I want to thank H.E Kagame for responding positively to Lt Gen Muhoozi’s invitation and coming to pay a visit to Uganda after years of not coming here,” Museveni wrote on Twitter.
Rwanda’s office of the presidency shared photographs on Twitter of the two men, who once fought together but whose relations have become strained, chatting at Uganda’s state house in Entebbe.
Kagame helped Museveni overthrow Uganda’s previous president Milton Obote in the 1980s, but relations soured as they jockeyed for influence in the region, particularly in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Museveni’s son Kainerugaba, who leads the Ugandan army’s land forces, is credited with helping mend relations. The visit comes just days after the East African Community (EAC), of which Rwanda and Uganda are members, agreed to set up a regional military force to try to end decades of bloodshed in eastern Congo.