President William Ruto’s recent meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, alongside Kenya’s opposition leader Ralia Odinga, sparked interest as the once-political allies sought to address ongoing disagreements. The meeting, held in Kisozi, Western Uganda, was speculated to focus on resolving the oil import dispute, with Odinga mediating. Additionally, discussions touched on the DRC conflict and support for Odinga’s bid for the African Union Commission chairmanship, aiming to unite a divided East African Community (EAC). Following the meeting, President Museveni emphasized mutual interest and EAC cooperation, while President Ruto hinted at progress in resolving the import dispute through strategic imports and logistical efficiency.

The potential resolution includes granting Uganda import privileges and registering the Uganda National Oil Company in Kenya, contingent on withdrawing the EACJ case. Despite Museveni’s prior engagement with Tanzania for oil imports, Kenya’s proximity offers advantages if the importation dispute is resolved. On the DRC conflict, Museveni pledges support for the Nairobi Process, led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, as Ruto sought to revive EAC integration goals. The meeting signaled a potential shift in diplomatic ties, emphasizing regional unity and cooperation among EAC nations.

President Ruto’s remarks following the meeting hinted at a desire to pacify the entire EAC and achieve its integration pillars. Expressing commitment to deepening diplomatic and economic ties between Kenya and Uganda, Ruto highlighted the broader objective of bringing all seven EAC nations closer towards the ultimate goal of forming the East African Political Federation. The meeting may have served as a turning point for Ruto and Museveni, reiterating their commitment to regional cooperation and the shared vision of a more integrated and harmonious East African Community.

 

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