Muhoozi delivers a special message to Kenyatta in Nairobi.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta received Lt-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the son of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who had given a “special message” on Wednesday.
According to a State House dispatch, Muhoozi, the Commander of Land Forces in Uganda, met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to address several subjects of “importance to Kenya and Uganda.”
“Among the concerns covered was the restoration of peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the statement said.
Both governments have made significant investments in a peace effort in eastern DRC, where war has flared on a regular basis for the last 30 years. Last month, Nairobi started a drive supported by East African Community member states to convince combatants to choose discussion with President Felix Tshisekedi’s administration in return for amnesty and rehabilitation programs.
However, the embryonic attempt is experiencing early challenges as the M23 armed group, one of the militias invited to negotiations, began attacks on the Congolese army, accusing Kinshasa of backing militants within DRC. Kigali has subsequently refuted the charges.
Meanwhile, Uganda and Kenya have committed soldiers to the DRC for separate peacekeeping missions. The Ugandan People’s Defence Forces have been conducting a cooperative operation with the Congolese army to target terrorist organizations that originated in Uganda but are now hiding in the DRC. Both armies declared this week that the operation would be expanded beyond extremist organizations.
“It was an honor and a joy to recently see my big brother and friend, President Uhuru Kenyatta, in Nairobi.” “I also gave to him a special message from His Excellency Kaguta Museveni,” Muhoozi said on Twitter.
The dispatch from State House Nairobi did not explain President Museveni’s message, but a talk on DRC may imply a potential partnership to ease tensions that arose between Rwanda and DRC last week.
Uganda is also constructing several connection roads in parts of eastern DRC that have been reclaimed from terrorist hideouts.
This was President Kenyatta’s third encounter with Lt-Gen Muhoozi in less than a year, but the previous two were informal.
Lt-Gen Kainerugaba is Uganda’s presumed political heir-apparent and has recently served as his special envoy.
In February, he helped negotiate a settlement that resulted in the reopening of the Rwanda-Uganda land border, which had been closed for three years due to disagreements between the two nations over the treatment of dissidents.
Uganda offered to remove some of the known dissidents during Lt-Gen Kainerugaba’s two visits to Kigali. In exchange, President Paul Kagame paid a visit to Kampala and met with President Museveni while attending Muhoozi’s birthday.