UPDF Commander Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba and Lt Gen Osama Askar, Chief of the General Staff of the Egyptian military, have Saturday morning exchanged gifts as they committed to further defence cooperation.

This happened at the Egypt’s Ministry of Defence headquarters in Cairo. Gen Muhoozi who is also the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, is in Egypt at the invitation of President Al-Sisi.

According to Gen Muhoozi, his engagement with Gen Osama Askar will see more solid actions in stepping up common security interests in the region.

“Exchanging gifts with Lieutenant General Osama Askar, Chief of the General Staff of the Egyptian military (equivalent of our CDF). This was this morning at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Cairo,” writes Gen Muhoozi on Twitter.

Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba after a meeting with Egypt’s top military officials.

“We discussed enhancing our strategic defence alliance and building on more than 25 years of defence cooperation. There will be greater and more solid actions in pursuit of our common security interests in the region,” he adds.

Gen Muhoozi is expected to meet President Al-Sisi before returning home.

Last month, Gen Muhoozi held a meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador to Uganda H.E Ashraf Mohamed Nabhan Swelam after which he took to Twitter and said “that Ugandan-Egyptian relations are very strong! I send warm greetings to our Egyptian brothers and sisters.”

Egypt and Uganda have a strong historical bond that stretches way back to colonial times. Since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi took power in 2014, Egyptian-Ugandan relations have witnessed a remarkable development, in light of Egypt’s interest to promote its relations with other African countries, especially the Nile Basin countries, to achieve common interests.

In April last year, Egypt concluded a military intelligence cooperation agreement with Uganda. Under the agreement, Egypt and Uganda will exchange intelligence information on a regular basis.

Egypt has also provided Uganda with training programs in combating terrorism at the Egyptian military faculties to promote security and defence cooperation between the two countries as well as other training programs in water management, health, agriculture and media.

In fact, the North African country is credited for supporting UPDF to professionalize its army by offering training opportunities for Ugandans in Egypt. Gen Muhoozi himself was in the 2000s admitted to Egyptian Military Academy where he took both the company and battalion commanders courses.

Gen Muhoozi has of late commited efforts towards strengthening Uganda’s relations with other countries. Prior to his trip to Egypt, he visited Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in Kigali to resolve all outstanding issues between Rwanda and Uganda.

While in Rwanda, he held talks with President Paul Kagame, paid respects to genocide victims at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, and toured the Kigali Arena.

After the meeting, Gen Muhoozi said together with Kagame, they discussed difficulties still associated with border opening.

“After a very fruitful 3 day visit to Rwanda I’d like to thank His Excellency Paul Kagame and the government and people of Rwanda for the very warm way we were received and treated. We discussed a wide range of issues,” Muhoozi wrote on Wednesday afternoon.

“One of the issues we discussed concerned the few difficulties still connected with the border opening (the high cost of PCR tests for Covid-19 etc). President Paul Kagame assured me all that will be sorted out,” he added.

He also thanked President Museveni “for giving me opportunity to serve my nation by helping to rebuild the very important strategic relationship between Uganda and Rwanda.”

His visit to Rwanda led to the reopening of the Uganda-Rwanda border which had been closed for 3 three years, allowing the resumption of movement of traders, goods and passengers from both countries.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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