- Tanzanian President Samia Suhulu will on Monday arrive in Kigali for her first visit state to Rwanda.
- One of the most crucial topics of interest between the two countries now is the instability in Mozambique, where Rwanda has deployed 1000 soldiers and policemen to fight Islamist insurgents.
- President Suluhu’s first trip was to Uganda in April, followed by Kenga in May.
Tanzanian President Samia Suhulu will on Monday arrive in Kigali for her first visit state to Rwanda.
During the two-day visit, she is expected to hold private talks with President Paul Kagame.
President Suluhu’s visit follows recent high-level meetings between top officials from the two countries.
The most recent meeting occurred on July 16, when Rwanda’s Minister of ICT, Paula Ingabire, met her Tanzanian counterpart, Faustine Ndugulile, to review submarine cable infrastructures in Tanzania that support communication services to Rwanda.
On July 9, Rwanda’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Major General Charles Karamba, met Tanzania’s Minister of Defence Elias Kwandikwa in Dodoma, where they discussed “mutual interest” topics.
One of the most crucial topics of interest between the two countries now is the instability in Mozambique, where Rwanda has deployed 1000 soldiers and policemen to fight Islamist insurgents.
Tanzania also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Mozambique – signed in November 2020 – to jointly battle against Islamists in Cabo Delgado Province.
Rwanda’s deployment of troops to Mozambique was not entirely supported by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), with reports indicating that the bloc expressed concern over a non-member deploying soldiers to the region without its approval.
Suluhu’s visit now provides Rwanda with an opportunity to woo one of SADC’s core members – Tanzania – on her side on matters related to the instability in Mozambique.
High on the agenda for talks between Suluhu and Kagame will also be the Isaka-Kigali standard gauge railway line, which has experienced delayed construction due to lack of funds.
The 532km railway line linking Rwanda to Tanzania and DRC is expected to cost up to $2.5 billion, with Tanzania paying $1.3 billion and Rwanda $1.2billion.
Rwanda and Tanzania have enjoyed cordial ties since 2015.
Before that both countries had a tumultuous past, at the height of which Rwanda accused Tanzanian officials of supporting rebels, while Tanzania also expelled thousands of Rwandan settlers in 2013.
They have been largely on the same page since 2015.
The most recent notable point of contention came in mid-2020 over disagreements on how to control border crossings during the coronavirus pandemic.
After back and forth interactions, the impasse was solved in May when Rwanda agreed to draw back its proposed swapping of drivers at Rusumo border, a proposal that had angered Tanzania’s truck drivers’ association.
Both countries also agreed to mandate the testing of truck drivers at their starting point in order to curtail the spread of Covid-19 across borders.
President Suluhu’s first trip was to Uganda in April, followed by Kenga in May.
Earlier in July, she visited Burundi, and with her visit to Rwanda, she will have visited all members of the East African Community – except South Sudan – within the first four months of her presidency.
This also means that she has visited more countries than her predecessor, John Pombe Magufuli, did in his first full year as president.
Source: The East African