Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwandan President Paul Kagame last night held private talks in the capital Kigali over what sources say, was oil in Uganda.
Museveni arrived in Kigali Sunday evening to a guard of honour at Kigali International Airport – to represent Ugandans at the 20th genocide commemoration in solidarity with Rwandans.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya who is also the current Chairman of the East African Community also arrived in Kigali last evening for the same ceremony.
Museveni later held talks with his East African counterparts, Paul Kagame and Uhuru who paid a courtesy call on him at his suite at Kigali Serena Hotel. Notable absentees were the other Easte African President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Brundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.
“The talks centered on oil and infrastructure,” a source at the meeting told us last night.
Uganda is in the final stages of building a refinery in the oil rich Hoima and Buliisa Districts but is toying with the idea of kick starting a crude oil pipeline so production can begin by the year 2018.
“Last night I held extensive Bilateral talks with Presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda in Kigali ahead of the 20th Commemoration of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. We discussed about the oil refinery at Hoima in Western, Uganda and agreed on a joint construction of a crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Lamu in Kenya which is expected to link up with the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project,” President Uhuru later confirmed on his Facebook page.
The three presidents have in the past two years signed a number of instruments aimed at accelerating industrialization, infrastructure and energy development, often sidelining Tanzania and Burundi, a move that is threatening to tear the East African Cooperation apart.
Their absence at the 20th Commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda reinforces this view.
Apart from this, Museveni and Uhuru will be joining President Kagame and specially invited guests at the commemoration ceremony to take place later today at Amahoro stadium.
They will be joined by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Samantha Powers, the U.S Permanent Representative to the UN who is also leading a high powered delegation sent by U.S President Barrack Obama.
President Museveni was received on arrival Sunday evening at Kigali International Airport by the Rwanda Minister of Local Government Mr. James Musoni and the Chief of the Rwanda Defence Forces, General Patrick Nyanvumba.
Others at the Airport to receive the President included Uganda’s High Commissioner in Kigali Ambassador Richard Kabonero and his Rwanda counterpart in Uganda, Maj Gen Frank Mugambagye.
France Denies Boycotting Commemoration
Meanwhile, France has denied that it is boycotting the event.
“The ambassador will be present at the ceremony presided over by Paul Kagame,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said.
“There was never any question of a boycott of the ceremonies. Saturday’s decision only concerned the justice minister’s participation.”
Christiane Taubira cancelled her plans to attend the events in Kigali following an accusation by Mr Kagame that France, as an ally of Mr Habyarimana’s government at the time, had participated in the mass killings.
In an interview with the French-language weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique, Mr Kagame denounced the “direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide”.
The French foreign ministry said the comments went against reconciliation efforts between the two countries.
Rwanda responded by accusing the French government of overreacting.
France has previously acknowledged that serious errors were made during the genocide in Rwanda.
By Arinaitwe Rugyendo & Alex Masereka In Kigali