October 9, 2019 was Uganda’s 57th Independence Day Anniversary.
Celebrations were marked with jubilant youths attending government sponsored concerts.
In Uganda, the celebration was marked with Bobi Wine’s spectacular escape on a bodaboda, as Ugandan Police tried to block him from preforming at an independence-themed concert he had organized.
But in Rwanda, at the Ugandan Embassy, the celebration was a calm and warm diplomatic event, hosted at the official residence of the Ugandan High Commissioner to Rwanda, Oliver Wonekha.
Justice Minister, Johnston Busingye, who was the guest of honor, in his remarks, reminded the audience that Uganda’s Independence Day anniversary comes just after Rwanda’s celebration of its own liberation struggle, and that these near concurrent events provide the two countries an opportune moment to look back at their respective histories and remember what the people of both countries so determinedly fought for, namely self-determination, dignity, love of country, and unity to name only a few.
These values are part and parcel of the makeup of the two sister countries and should contribute to cement our sense of common purpose and brotherhood, they are values which should not be rolled back by any challenge, no matter its strength.
“As neighbors with strong commonalities, we should be doing what it takes, to create an environment that facilitates relations anchored on friendship, stability, and peace,” Busingye said.
This anniversary comes at time when relationship between the two sister countries are at their lowest point in decades, following the arrests and torture of hundreds of Rwandans residing or visiting Uganda, as well as the support given by Ugandan to terrorist organizations like RNC and FDLR.
But even though the two countries may currently be at loggerhead with each other, they have more in common than whatever may divide them, and they also share a common history that created a strong bond, as Minister Busingye said: “Our people have at various times in our shared history, stood shoulder to shoulder in liberation struggles that ousted anti-people regimes. This history ties us together and creates solemn expectations we ought to live up to.”
Minister Busingye, ended his remarks by reminding the guests of the advantages found in good bilateral and regional cooperation, “In addition to nurturing the natural predisposition of our people to connect with each other, predictable and stable relations provide a unique and incomparable platform for rapid development in all areas.”
Busingye insisted that “this should be the end state that we pursue: a fraternal and peaceful environment that serves as a foundation for successful social, political, cultural and economic progress.”