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Kagame hails Gen Muhoozi on Uganda-Rwanda relations – ‘We are Friends and at Peace’

Kagame, who hosted Gen. Muhoozi for his 49th birthday celebrations in Kigali, said that while there was peace between the two countries, friendship has also been added after the intervention of the former land forces commander.

Uganda's First Son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba with President Kagame at Urugwiro on Tuesday, April 25 before returning to Uganda

The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame has Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba for his role in mending ties between Kigali and Kampala saying the two neighboring countries are now at peace.

Kagame, who hosted Gen. Muhoozi for his 49th birthday celebrations in Kigali, said that while there was peace between the two countries, friendship has also been added after the intervention of the former land forces commander.

“We are friends and we are at peace. Thanks to you General Muhoozi, for your role in this and for your conviction, and for being that bridge we used to cross from one side to another,” Kagame said in a video shared by the Rwanda presidency on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

“Well, you can have peace but at the same time, you may not be friends. But this time, I think we have both,” he added.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame speaking at Gen Muhoozi’s 49th birthday celebrations held in Rwanda on April 24, 2023

Gen. Muhoozi, who is also the chairman of the MK Movement, on his part noted that his relationship with Kagame had grown stronger, citing it being cemented by the 10 cows the Rwandan president gave him.

“We went from him being a president and me being an army officer, to becoming friends,” Muhoozi said, adding; “And the mark of friendship was the cows that he gave me and I take that very very seriously.

“And I would like to report, your Excellency, that the cows are doing well. They have produced. You gave me 10 cows and now I have 17 cows from the ones you gave me.

“So, from that point on, really we became friends with His Excellency.”

First Son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba toasts to celebrate his 49th birthday with President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame in Rwanda on Monday, April 24, 2023

Gen Muhoozi was accompanied to Rwanda by a delegation of officials led by Minister of Justice and Constitution Affairs Minister Norbert Mao (who is reportedly spearheading the power transition plans) and Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, the Minister of Security.

Other members included; Veteran Journalist Andrew Mwenda, Kitgum Woman MP Lillian Aber, Muhoozi’s cousin Alexander Mukonzi Akandwanaho, Renowned businessman Geoffrey Kalugira, Eng. Joel Aita and Counsel Elison Karuhanga among others.

The General and his delegation arrived at Kigali International Airport on Sunday evening and they were received by the Commander of the Rwandan Republican Guard Maj Gen Willy Rwagasana and the Rwanda Defence Forces Spokesman Brig Gen Ronald Rwivanga.

Gen Muhoozi at Kigali International Airport on Tuesday, April 25 before returning to Uganda

In 2022, Gen Kainerugaba visited Rwanda three times with the initial visit to Kigali leading to the reopening of the Gatuna border which had been closed for three years.

The Rwandan leader also flew to Kampala and attended a State Dinner on Gen MK’s 48th birthday. President Kagame, who fought in the Uganda bush war of 1981-86, held several discussions with his Ugandan counterpart.

During the Rukundo Egumeho Thanksgiving Concert held on Wednesday, April 19 in Kabale, Gen Kainerugaba said that since the reopening of the Gatuna border, trade between Uganda and Rwanda has tremendously improved, reaching an all-time high of $20m in business transactions per month.

Before the closure, Gen MK said the annual trade was $200 million, which translated to $17m per month. During the period the border was closed the figure stood at $60,000, according to records from the Bank of Uganda.

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