Mending a broken friendship: Can mediation help end enmity between Rwanda and Uganda?

How to cite this journal: Author, Date of the post, WMO Conflict Insight, Title of the post, ISSN:

The author is reachable at He works at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). However, views expressed herein are not a reflection of the official position, past, present or future, of the United Nations or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

  1. Introduction

In this paper, I explore whether mediation can help end a conflict between Rwanda and Uganda. I reflect on four questions: Is there a conflict between Rwanda and Uganda? What might be the root causes of the conflict? What efforts have been deployed to resolve it? Can mediation make a difference? For a systematic reflection, the paper has four sections: the context, the conflict, the efforts, and solutions. I conclude that peaceful co-existence between Rwanda and Uganda is possible, and mediation can contribute. I, however, argue that there are some requirements for mediation to work; there is a need for the right mediator, with a different calibre and tools for facilitation. I finally submit that regional peace and security are possible but caution that the East African Community and the African Union and their institutional arrangements can make better investments in prevention rather than resolving conflicts between and among member states.

  1. The Conflict Context

In this section, I outline primary economic and demographic data. I also review the history of the two states and outline elements of friendship between the neighbouring countries.

Rwanda is a small country with a territory of 26,338 square kilometres. Some literature refers to Rwanda as un pays des mille collines, a country of a thousand hills, after her mountains and rivers that meander through them before they fill lakes spread across the country. With a subtropical climate, she has one of the highest population densities in Africa, 525 per square kilometre[1], and is home to approximately 12,950,000[2]. Rwanda borders: Uganda in the North, Tanzania in the East, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, and Burundi in the South. Rwanda’s economy is overwhelmingly rural and heavily dependent on agriculture[3]: agriculture (24.07 percent), the industry contributed (18 percent), and the services sector (49.27 percent)[4]. Rwanda depends on much of its imports on a trade route through the Northern Corridor (Uganda to Kenya’s Indian Ocean port of Mombasa)[5]. Uganda is located between Kenya in the west, South Sudan in the north, the west of the DRC -the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and north of Rwanda and Tanzania. Uganda is home to around 45,741,007 people[6], with a population density of 229 per square kilometre. Uganda’s economy depends on agriculture (24.2 percent), industry (25.5 percent), and services (50.3 percent)[7]. The two neighbours have historically depended on each other economically through imports/exports.

The two countries do not have the same colonisation history; Rwanda was colonised by Germany in 1884 and put under the Belgian protectorate in 1916 (after German had lost World War I). The colonial rule-governed in a manner that made the two main social classes (Tutsi and Hutu) enemies. It led to the so-called 1959 Revolution and the independence in 1962, favouring the Hutu and against the Tutsi, the majority of whom were forced to seek asylum in neighbouring countries, Uganda inclusive. Inside the country, ethnic competition culminated in the 1994 genocide committed against the Tutsi, which left Rwanda’s economy and social fabric in ashes[8]. In 1894. Uganda becomes a protectorate of the British Empire; became independent from the United Kingdom in 1962.  In the aftermath of its independence, Idi Amin overthrew Milton Obote in 1971, and Obote was overthrown in 1979.  Museveni was a chief of the rebellion that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Amin (1971–79) and Milton Obote (1980–85) before becoming president in 1986[9].

Despite the difference in colonial heritage, Rwanda and Uganda had had relations since centuries ago when Banyarwanda immigrated in Uganda, as labourers pushed by the poor living conditions in the Belgian colonies and pulled by compounded effects of religion-inflected civil wars in Buganda, the wars of conquest in the East and North, and the collapse of pre-colonial medicine, along with the interruption of agriculture, which claimed lots of active lives. It contributed because the British needed more labour to help grow the cash crops[10].  The Banyarwanda adopted new identities and names to integrate better[11]. Also, ethnic-based conflicts between the Hutu and Tutsi, engineered by the Belgian colonisers, led to massive outfluxes to neighbouring countries, including Uganda, after the so-called 1959 Revolution[12]. One factor that goes silent is the effect of new borders imposed after the Berlin Conference (15 November 1884 – 26 February 1885). Driven by their desire to regulate colonisation and trade in Africa, the European imperial powers drew geometrical borders without considering social affinities on either side. As a result, the people of Rwandan descent found themselves at the other side of the border of all countries neighbouring Rwanda. Therefore, some Banyarwanda found themselves on the other side of the border. It is not surprising that the Constitution of Uganda mentioning Banyarwanda as their 24th indigenous community as of 1 February 1926 (see article 10 (a)).

Above, I hinted that some Rwandans sought asylum in Uganda due to the so-called 1959 Revolution and subsequent years. Faced with the hardships of refugeehood, they negotiated a peaceful return. In response, the then Rwandan government denied most of them a right to citizenship, while she imposed extreme conditions to those whose citizenship was accepted; returnees were not allowed to claim their properties. They would return after proving that they could sustain themselves. These sufferings played in favour of a young Yoweri Museveni; he recruited most of them in the rebellion, including Paul Kagame, and launched a war (1981 – 1986) to seize Uganda’s presidency[13].  After seizing power in 1986, Museveni worked with Rwandan refugees, including Kagame, who worked as his chief of military intelligence. In 1994, Museveni supported the liberation war against Kigali, with Kagame as the Commander to end the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Kagame and Museveni then battled on the same side during the First Congo War in 1996, helping to oust the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and backing his rival, Laurent Kabila.[14] The two countries are members of the East African Community (EAC) and members of the Commonwealth.

  1. The Conflict: Factors and Actors

 Under this section, I review the old alliance, possible factors for breaking the alliance, and interests pursued by each of these countries.

3.1. NRA and RPA fighting a common enemy

Back in history, Rwandan refugees in Uganda fought alongside the current president Museveni as members of the NRA, with Rwandan soldiers estimated at more than a third of the forces. However, their comrades from various ethnic backgrounds did not like the Banyarwanda. Similarly, Museveni, who seemed to appreciate their services, was also labeled a Munyarwanda[15]. Simultaneously, Museveni had an uphill task of convincing President Habyarimana of Rwanda that no enemy would launch an attack from the Uganda territory. In his three-day state visit, he was recorded explaining that while he would not mind if he were Rwandan, it was a point of the fact that there was no blood in his lineage[16]. However, it is also a point of the fact that the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), a military wing of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), launched an attack from the soil of Uganda, reportedly against Museveni’s knowledge[17]. In any case, the role of Banyarwanda communities in Ugandan national politics has been remarkable, yet Banyarwanda has been scapegoats for Ugandan ills whenever tensions with Rwanda arose[18].

3.2. RPA and NRA pursuing their security agenda beyond their borders

After the liberation war, Rwanda and Uganda were allies in DRC when each country pursued rebels from its country, Rwanda pursuing the ex-FAR and Interahamwe, Uganda hunting its rebels. The countries also had a joint plan to overthrow Zaire’s Mobutu. Surprisingly, Rwanda and Uganda became enemies during the Second Congo War. In Kisangani, two forces fought when the Rwandan army refused to obey orders from their fellow Ugandan military officers[19]. Reportedly, many Ugandan officials refer sarcastically to their RPA former comrades as “juniors” and “boys” to underscore the fact that Museveni was once their Commander in Chief. It was an extension of Museveni’s attitude towards deciding what the post-genocide Rwanda should have been, rejected by Rwandans[20]. Since then, while the conflict did not escalate into further violence, the current relations show that mediation efforts did not attend to root causes[21].

3.3. Uganda allegedly supports Rwandan enemies

Despite this shared history, the United Nations Group of Experts report suggests that Uganda and other countries trained and armed the Rwandan opposition groups “Platform Five – P5” [22]. Kayumba Nyamwasa[23] is at the head of this platform that seeks to overthrow the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)[24]; their elements carried out incursions in 2018 (July and December), April 2019 into Rwanda’s territory and claimed lives of civilians. Some rebel commanders were pursued and captured and are facing trial in Rwanda[25]. Reportedly, Kampala distrustful about Rwanda’s connections with its security organs; Uganda has been reshuffling its security apparatus to ensure that Kigali allies are checked[26]. Besides, in 2019, Uganda claimed that Rwandan elements entered the territory and killed civilians, a claim refuted by Rwanda, saying that it was pursuing a group of smugglers[27]. At the same time, Rwanda accuses Uganda of abducting, illegally detaining, and torturing some Rwandans on Uganda’s territory, which prompted Rwanda’s travel advisory against going to Uganda[28].

Amidst these accusations and counteraccusations, the conflict escalated. Rwanda accuses Uganda of stopping Rwandan trucks from proceeding to Mombasa Port. Business contracted on both sides, resulting in heavy financial losses, without a sufficient explanation. It led Rwanda to seek an alternative export destination[29]. In the same competition, Uganda accused Rwanda of blocking cargos from Uganda and stopping its nationals from crossing into Uganda[30], allegations refuted by replicating that there were renovation works at  Gatuna / Katuna border, which resulted in redirecting the trucks to Gatuna / Katuna border, located in 100 km from the Gatuna / Katuna border[31]. These unhealthy relationships have had economic consequences; Uganda has lost more than USD300m in exports to Rwanda[32], Rwanda has lost about USD 19m per annum in exports to Uganda[33]. Also, small-scale traders and labourers on both sides were negatively affected. Despite efforts to mediate these differences, the relationships have not improved; efforts did not address the root causes of the conflict. There is a need for constructive conflict management to harness its energy for creativity and development.

Each of the countries has interests. Rwanda has economic and national security interests involved, though it may be challenging to disentangle these; Rwanda is landlocked; she uses the Northern Transport Corridor to reach the Indian Ocean via Uganda and Kenya (which is 1,800km long). This Corridor also serves Burundi, DRC, and South Sudan. Alternatively, she uses the Central Corridor via Tanzania (1,400 km long from Rwanda and about 1,500 km from Burundi). Considering that Rwanda trades much in commodities (coffee and tea) and imports more than she exports if Rwanda cannot export through Uganda, this means much losses.

Similarly, it seems that the cause of the conflict is rooted in protecting sovereignty; Rwanda does not want to be given instructions by Uganda. She wants to engage in mutually good bilateral relations. In my understanding, President Kagame insinuated this when he commented that no one could put him on his knees. When it comes to security, however, Rwanda seems to be determined to forego economic interests. However, this may not be a viable option in the long run.

Similarly, Uganda seems to chase her dream of exerting her influence on regional affairs. Like Rwanda, she has security interests and imminent threats from rebel movements in DRC, including ADF, and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which operates in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), and the DRC. The state does therefore have an interest in ensuring its security is tight. The country also has economic interests. She used to export large volumes of products to Rwanda. Besides, Uganda enjoys a geographical location that can influence the flow of commodities in and from Rwanda. Rwanda has expressed her concerns over sabotaging trade by frustrating goods transiting through Uganda and destined for Rwanda, which eventually occasioned losses.

  1. Conflict Resolution Efforts

Amidst the reported tensions, accusations, and counteraccusations, the following conflict resolution efforts:

On 21 August 2019, Kagame and Museveni met in Luanda and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to restore relationships. Presidents of Angola Joao Lourenco (President of Angola), President Felix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo – Brazza), under the auspices of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region)[34], witnessed the ceremony. In a press release, the UN Secretary-General saluted the efforts, urging neighbours to restore friendly ties and cooperation for regional stability[35].  The two presidents committed to respecting each other’s sovereignty and that of the neighbouring countries. They also undertook to desist from financing and training each other’s hostile forces. They finally agreed to uphold the rights and freedoms of their citizens residing or transiting, continue cross-border arrangements, including the movement of persons and goods, as soon as possible[36] to avoid unnecessary hardships for their citizens.

On 17 September 2019, building on the MoU signed in Angola one month previously, the Adhoc commission met in Kigali, Rwanda, to defuse tensions. The Rwandan Minister of State of Foreign Affairs underscored the long history between the two countries as a factor that would make the process smooth towards restored relations.  Kigali voiced her concerns about cases involving Rwandans, whom it says have been illegally detained or tortured on Ugandan soil. She also voiced Uganda’s hosting and supporting terror groups aimed at destabilising the government in Kigali[37]. Kigali provided a list of Rwandans detained in Uganda and Kampala committed to verify the information to ensure due process[38]. Regarding the allegations related to supporting the anti- Rwanda forces, Minister Kutesa commented that Uganda benefits nothing in destabilising Rwanda, just like Rwanda benefits nothing in destabilising Uganda. Manuel Domingos Augusto, the Angolan Minister of External Relations), in attendance, voiced his optimism, saying it testifies how African countries can work together to resolve their issues[39].

On 13 December 2019, the Adhoc committee met after three postponements. The delegations included Foreign Ministers, Internal Affairs Ministers, Intelligence Chiefs, and High Commissioners. It seems that Rwanda and Uganda do not outline all issues, such as Uganda’s sabotage of the railway project that would eventually have reached Rwanda’s border, which would have made a difference in the economy of Rwanda. However, the talks reached another deadlock[40].

On 21 February 2020, Presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, with mediation from Angola’s João Lourenço and DR Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi, held their summit at the Gatuna border. The only summit’s output was a bilateral signature for the Extradition Treaty by Ministers of Foreign Affairs. From that on, any suspected criminal in either country would not be deported but extradited. The parties did not address other substantive matters. After the summit, the ball was put solely back on the Ugandan side. Uganda had to first deal with the dissidents and rebel forces on its territory fighting Rwanda and ensuring respect for international human rights and international humanitarian laws. Facilitators asked Uganda to finish the homework within a one-month deadline, report to the Adhoc commission, after which the state leaders would meet[41]. Since then, maybe the COVID-19 contributed. Neither effort nor follow-up action has been publicly recorded.

Meanwhile, many Rwandans are still languishing in unofficial detention facilities. Politicians have vilified each other, officials attending meetings have only vacillated around real issues. The situation begs the question: Can peace and cooperation supplant the current enmity?

  1. The Solution: Can Mediation Contribute?

Above, I have elucidated the history of Rwanda – Uganda relationships, conflict dynamics, mediation efforts, and an evaluation of these efforts. Rwanda and Uganda have lost a chance to solve the deadlock amicably, and a dissonance remains in their relationship. The question remains: Are these differences irremediable? Below, I evaluate the propriety of mediation, technical modalities of conducting a successful mediation, and a proposal for the right mediator.

5.1. Why would mediation be appropriate?

The dynamics of international mediation are fascinating. Conflict is endemic to the anarchical international system that consists of many sovereign states competing to realise their respective national interests. I, therefore, suggest that it is normal that Uganda and Rwanda as sovereign states engage in conflicts. The competition may not result in military confrontation if the competition happens within conventional diplomacy, and mediation implies the restoration of some sort of power balance. It is also important to mention that major powers are the most likely candidates for a mediator role. They tend to intervene in a conflict to advance their national interests and/or to act as safeguards to the stability of the international system. In the same vein, the parties in conflict are most likely to accept mediation when it will help them reach a better solution than they can achieve on their own (do not want to risk relations with the mediator by declining his initiative, for example). Finally, mediators can assist parties in a variety of ways in settling, but, ultimately, mediation success is determined in large measure by the combination of the resources available to them and the skill with which they use these[42].

I argue that mediation has the potential for resolving the impasse between Rwanda and Uganda.  It facilitates a process towards a peaceful resolution with the support of an impartial mediator. The parties, rather than the mediator, decide the terms of the settlement[43]. The situation requires an approach in which no one feels that they have ‘lost. In other words, Rwanda and Uganda need to come to an ‘agreement’ or ‘settlement’. They need to find a ‘win-win’ outcome. Mediation would help Rwanda and Uganda feel that they are being treated equally, as indeed they are under the UN Charter. In this process, the mediator is responsible for the process and no vested interest in the outcome[44].

5.2. Technical issues in mediation

First, mediators should focus on generating trust[45]. Rwanda and Uganda live in a distrustful situation. During all efforts, Uganda reportedly used devious strategies towards solving the conflict; commitments taken have never been addressed. The mediator should help the parties see the possibility of communication with each other, encouraging them to believe that a way forward can be found. The mediator must also reframe the conflict by undertaking a process of changing the way a conflict is presented so that it maintains its fundamental meaning but is more likely to support resolution efforts. To help reframe the conflict as a common problem.  They equally help observe the ground rules. To assist in creating an atmosphere in which emotions can safely be expressed but also managed. Exercising, when necessary, the authority they have been given by both sides to maintain an agreed process[46].  They clarify issues and options. To assist in the clarification of issues and options, encouraging both sides to be clear about their real concerns; shift focus from past to present: To help shift attention from the past to the present and future; and encourage creative solutions: To encourage imagination and evaluation with options, what they need and what they can offer[47].

5.3. Who can mediate this conflict?

The attributes of the mediator have a huge bearing on the success of the mediation efforts. The paper outlines three of them: (a) (im)partiality, (b) leverage, and (c) status. These characteristics usually determine the acceptability of belligerents and the success of the mediator[48].  I have listed potential candidates for the mediation, including the East African Community (EAC), Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), / the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the EAC, International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and the African Union (AU). By their missions, these organisations should be interested in the conflict and should be impartial. The mediator should be impartial and be seen to be impartial. They should have reliable leverage – the ability to put pressure on one or both conflicting parties to accept a proposed settlement. It assumes a mediator has power and influence resources that can be brought to bear on the parties. Nevertheless, it is not clear which resources are crucial between carrots and sticks, the possibility of withholding or supplying economic aid and moral or psychological pressure, and reliable status – personal reputation, track records, and from organisational factors. Two such organisational components of mediator status are distinguished in the literature: institutional ( the identity of a mediator’s constituency as an individual, government representative, representative of an NGO, or UN Special Envoy); and positional status (standing within his own country or organisation, such as a strong internal position to commit his government or executive to back up the things he says or does[49].

First, the EAC brings together Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania. South Sudan is the newest member. Somalia and DRC applied for membership. This organisation chases a mission to widen and deepen economic, political, social, and cultural integration to advance the standard of living for the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value-added production, trade, and investments[50]. The EAC, therefore, has an interest, individually at the state level and collectively at the community level, to ensure peace and security as a prerequisite to its mission. Peace and security are prerequisites to the common market, common currency, and political integration. This organisation could mediate the situation if members had a unity of purpose and had the right leverage.  EAC does not seem to have a muscle to mediate the conflict. First, there are issues between some member states; for example, Rwanda accuses Burundi of harbouring the militia that attacked the southern province and vanished into Burundi, leaving behind enough evidence to link them to Burundi  (including uniforms, weapons, and prisoners). Burundi has also been accusing Rwanda of not extraditing fugitives suspected of their criminal responsibility in the attempted coup d’état against late president Nkurunziza.

Moreover, the experience of Burundi in 2015 does not inspire my confidence in the bodies. After the election-related violence claimed the lives of some citizens and drove thousands out to exile, these bodies could have done better. Beyond Rwanda and Burundi, we have Uganda involved in the current conflict, and so we would remain with Tanzania and Kenya to mediate this issue. I am a bit pessimistic about whether these states have the willingness and sufficient impartiality to mediate the situation at hand. Regrettably, I argue that if the EAC cannot solve this deadlock, it will eventually exist as a monument, making it impossible to achieve the regional integration dream.

Second, the ICGLR is composed of twelve member states: Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia. It coordinates, facilitates, monitors, and ensures the implementation of the pact to reach political stability, security, peace, and development in the region of the Great Lakes[51]. Tshisekedi and Lourenço are peerless concerning this challenge. They have indefatigably sought repaired relations, but the situation is ponderous; issues at hand are complex and can only be resolved if one party is willing. From the reading of the past, I argue that ICGLR does not have the proper leverage; the last time the summit convened in Gatuna, facilitators proposed a deadline and assignment to Uganda, nothing has been done ICGLR did not do anything.

Third, CSOs in the EAC include political parties, professional organisations, labour unions, and religious institutions). These represent the populace or represent them in governance, legal, economic, and social structures; maintain communal structures, and avail humanitarian aid[52]. They are interested in ensuring security, bilateral and multilateral relationships as a prerequisite to human development. There is an opulence of CSOs across East African countries. There is also an East African Civil Society Organisations Forum (EACSOF), an autonomous umbrella body of NGOs and CSOs in East Africa. This organisation exists to ensure citizen-centred policy processes at national and regional levels towards, among other, peace and security, democratic governance, social and economic justice. The people of Rwanda and Uganda are hungry for stability and peaceful co-existence. Lack thereof affects their livelihoods. Unfortunately, they did not see this organisation challenge heads of states to step forward and solve the issues. Even if CSOs stepped forward, I fear they would not have a conducive environment and leverage to facilitate these issues.

Fourth, the African Union should be interested: The organisation chases an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and on behalf of a dynamic force in the global arena. It has an interest in peace and security between neighbouring countries and different regions of the African continent. After Kagame and Museveni signed the MoU in Luanda, the AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, commended the effort and urged them to improve the economic and political relationships. This statement was not followed up with anything to ensure that parties heed this admonition. Respecting international laws of which a state is a party is not whimsical; the people of Rwanda and Uganda deserve a better climate.

Regrettably, it looks all organisations mandated to do this job are diffident; they do not come forward to support the process. I have almost exhausted mediation resources within the continent. I do not intend to disparage these stakeholders, but I suggest they can do much better.

Before I exhaust remedies, I am submitting another venue. Rwanda and Uganda are members of the Commonwealth. They also interact with international development organisations (IDOs) such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),  British Department for International Development (DFID), and alike. In the past, such conflict resolution was facilitated by Clare Short, the former Secretary of State for International Development. She had done a good job because Kagame and Museveni perceived her to be impartial, she had leverage- carrots and sticks to convince both presidents to heed her counsel in terms of her influence over UK’s funding to both countries, and status – reputation and position in a donor country, the UK. I must, however, say that her efforts missed one thing: establishing the root causes, uprooting them, and facilitating parties to burn them.

Nevertheless, there is a need for such mediators. If interested in the situation, they can be guarantors of a peace settlement. These have effective carrots and sticks to ethically motivate Rwanda and Uganda to refrain from actions conducive to destabilisation of the other party through training, financing, and infiltration of hostile forces. These incentives, in my opinion, are strong enough to encourage them to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of Ugandans and Rwandans living or transiting and to recommence their cross-border movements, including the movement of persons and goods as soon as possible[53].

  1. Conclusion

I analysed and explored the conflict between Rwanda and Uganda. It also explored possibilities for mediation. The neighbouring states share borders and a history of hospitality, but mostly Banyarwanda is Uganda. Some Banyarwanda became “Ugandans” due to the scrambling of Africa, and others went to Uganda as immigrants or refugees. Banyarwanda participated in the change of politics in Uganda. Uganda also contributed to the change of politics in Rwanda. Under the auspices of ICGLR, the Presidents of Angola and DRC paved the way for two states Presidents and commissions to go past the deadlock in vain.

In this paper, I submitted that both states have interests, economic and security. Nevertheless, Rwanda and Uganda can best protect their interests by engaging in a mutually beneficial relationship. I observed that ICGLR, East African Community, and the African Union may not help reconcile these countries because they have no record of the unity of purpose, carrots, and sticks to encourage member states to abide by principles and provisions of international law. If interested and willing, donor states or their development aid organisations can appoint a sagacious mediator to help these states talk and deliver their homework; both states still depend on external development aid, and if used ethically, sticks and carrots can motivate them to go past the deadlock.


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———. “Secretary-General Welcomes Rwanda-Uganda Memorandum of Understanding, Urging Neighbours to Restore Friendly Ties Cooperation for Regional Stability,” 23 August, 2019.

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[1] Worldometer, “Rwanda Population (2021),” 2021, Accessed on 22 March 2021.

[2] Worldometer.

[3]The International Trade Administration, “Rwanda – Market Overview,” 2021, Accessed on 21 March 2021.

[4] Statistica, “Rwanda: Share of Economic Sectors in the Gross Domestic Product 2009-2019,” November 18, 2020,

[5] Voice of America, “Rwanda Accuses Uganda of Supporting Rebels,” March 5, 2019,

[6]Worldometer, “Uganda Population,” 2021,

[7] The Government of Uganda, “The Economy,” 2021,

[8] Rene Lemarchand, “Rwanda: Culture, History, & People,” Encyclopaedia Britanica, 2021,

[9] Omari H. Kokole, “Uganda: Culture, History, & People,” Encyclopaedia Britanica, 2021,

[10] A K Kaiza, “The Rwanda-Uganda Border Closure: When Love Turns to Hate…and Rebels Become Tyrants,” April 5, 2019,

[11] Ibid.

[12] Kaiza, “The Rwanda-Uganda Border Closure: When Love Turns to Hate…and Rebels Become Tyrants.”

[13] Déogratias Byanafashe and Paul Rutayisire, History of Rwanda: From the Beginning to the End of the Twentieth Century (Kigali: National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NUCRC), 2016).

[14] Sophie Neiman, “The Dangers of Deteriorating Relations Between Rwanda and Uganda,” World Politics Review, October 17, 2019,

[15] Voice of America, “Rwanda Accuses Uganda of Supporting Rebels.”

[16] Tony Geoffrey Owana, Could Exiles Have Returned to Rwanda without War? Part 3: I Am Not Rwandan, M7 Assures Habyarimana, 2020,

[17] Byanafashe and Rutayisire, History of Rwanda.

[18] Voice of America, “Rwanda Accuses Uganda of Supporting Rebels.”

[19] Byanafashe and Rutayisire, History of Rwanda, 625.

[20] Paul Nantulya, “Escalating Tensions between Uganda and Rwanda Raise Fear of War,” July 3, 2019,

[21] Neiman, “The Dangers of Deteriorating Relations Between Rwanda and Uganda.”

[22] United Nations, “Letter S/2018/1133 – E – S/2018/1133 Dated 18 December 2018 from the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo Addressed to the President of the Security Council,” December 18, 2018,

[23] Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa was in Ugandan army as many of his compatriots. He was later the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff and Ambassador of Rwanda to India. The Military High Court (MHC) sentenced him to 24 years in prison for forming a terrorist group, threatening state security, undermining public order, promoting ethnic divisions and insulting the person of the President of the Republic. His sentence includes four years for deserting the Army. He was also dismissed with disgrace from the Rwanda Defence Forces.

[24] Nantulya, “Escalating Tensions between Uganda and Rwanda Raise Fear of War.”

[25] Nantulya.

[26] Nantulya.

[27] Nantulya.

[28] Neiman, “The Dangers of Deteriorating Relations Between Rwanda and Uganda.”

[29] Collin Mwai, “Government Allays Fears on Imports, Exports from Uganda,” March 5, 2019,

[30] Voice of America, “Rwanda Accuses Uganda of Supporting Rebels.”

[31] Voice of America.

[32] The Chronicles, “Disappointment: Rwanda-Uganda Border Not Opening Today, May Be Opened In 45 Days or Even Never,” February 21, 2020,

[33] Mwai, “Government Allays Fears on Imports, Exports from Uganda.”

[34] Eugene Uwimana, “Rwanda, Uganda Hold Peace Talks to Defuse Tensions,” Voice of America, September 17, 2019,

[35] United Nations, “Secretary-General Welcomes Rwanda-Uganda Memorandum of Understanding, Urging Neighbours to Restore Friendly Ties Cooperation for Regional Stability,” August 23, 2019,

[36] Voice of America, “Uganda, Rwanda Leaders Sign Pact Aimed at Ending Standoff,” August 21, 2019,

[37] Uwimana, “Rwanda, Uganda Hold Peace Talks to Defuse Tensions.”

[38] Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Rwanda, “The First Meeting of the Ad-Hoc Commission on the Implementation of the Luanda MoU between Rwanda and Uganda Convenes in Kigali,” August 21, 2019,

[39] Uwimana, “Rwanda, Uganda Hold Peace Talks to Defuse Tensions.”

[40]Mariam Abele, “Talks between Uganda, Rwanda Reach Stalemate,” December 14, 2019,

[41] The Chronicles, “Disappointment: Rwanda-Uganda Border Not Opening Today, May Be Opened In 45 Days or Even Never.”

[42] Marieke Kleiboer, “Understanding Success and Failure of International Mediation,” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 40, no. 2 (1996): 379.

[43] World Mediation Organization, Mediation and Conflict Management (Berlin: World Mediation Organization, 2013), 446.

[44] World Mediation Organization, 448.

[45] World Mediation Organization, 335.

[46] Holistically Speaking, “Mediation for Conflict Resolution” with Guest, Jennifer Larsen, 2012,

[47] Holistically Speaking.

[48] Kleiboer, “Understanding Success and Failure of International Mediation,” 368.

[49] Kleiboer, 371.

[50] East African Community, “Overview of EAC,” 2021,

[51] ICGLR, “Background,” accessed March 14, 2021,

[52] Amy L Smith and David R Smock, eds., Managing a Mediation Process (Washington, D.C: U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2008), 13.

[53] Voice of America, “Uganda, Rwanda Leaders Sign Pact Aimed at Ending Standoff.”

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