A view of the 26th AU summit is seen in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, on Jan. 30, 2016. The 26th ordinary session of the African Union (AU) heads of states and governments kicks off on Saturday at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)
A view of the 26th AU summit is seen in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, on Jan. 30, 2016. The 26th ordinary session of the African Union (AU) heads of states and governments kicks off on Saturday at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)

The African Union (AU) has commended the signing of a memorandum of understanding to improve the political and economic relations between the governments of Rwanda and Uganda.

“The Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve the political and economic relations between the governments of Rwanda and Uganda that took place in Luanda, Angola on Wednesday,” said an AU statement issued on late Friday.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame signed the memorandum of understanding during a quadripartite summit in Luanda, Angola, which was also attended by the host Angolan President Joao Lourenco and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) leader Felix Tshisekedi.

Chairperson of the 55-member pan African bloc also “commended the leadership shown by President Paul Kagame and President Yoweri Museveni to resolve their differences through dialogue in the spirit of regional cooperation.”

Faki further commended the facilitation role played by President Joao Lourenco of Angola, President Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC and President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville in his capacity as Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

The two neighboring countries, Rwanda and Uganda, recently had experienced a frosty relation as the two sides blamed each other for different issues including people’s safety, spying, border issues, groups that are hostile to the Rwandan government.

In March this year, Rwandan Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera “strongly” advised Rwandan people not to travel to Uganda due to “ongoing arrests, harassment, torture, incarceration without consular access and deportation etc.”

The legal instruments seal the understanding reached between the two central African countries and will help overcome the tension that has characterized their relations.

A State House statement from Uganda also said leaders of Uganda and Rwanda agreed to respect each other’s sovereignty and of neighboring countries.

Signing the agreement brokered by Angola, the two leaders also stressed commitment to refrain from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of the other party or neighboring countries and also eliminate all factors that may create such perception, as well as enhancing, training, and infiltration of destabilizing forces.

Also on Wednesday, Uganda and Rwanda communications regulators also held talks after the two countries leaders’ signed the pact on cessation of hostilities.

Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda’s minister of information communication technology and national guidance, revealed on Friday that Uganda Communications Commission and its Rwandan counterpart are in touch.

“The point of contention is that no publication on either side should propagate hostilities,” Tumwebaze said in a twitter post, noting that the talks are in the Angolan spirit. Enditem

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