President Yoweri Museveni is scheduled to meet Kenyan counterpart William Ruto to discuss bilateral trade matters in an upcoming Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) meeting hosted by Uganda on January 17, 2024. This meeting occurs amidst strained relations between the two nations, with Uganda having recently filed a case against Kenya in the East African Court of Justice over the denial of a license to a Uganda-owned oil marketer to operate and handle fuel imports destined for Kampala.

Henry Oryem Okello, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, confirmed that Ruto would chair the Igad meeting as the current chair, although the specific date of his arrival was not disclosed. The primary focus of the meeting will be addressing ongoing conflicts within the region.

“The Igad meeting will find a solution to the ongoing conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia. This is a conflict that is not desirable, not good for the region, and we hope that when all principals arrive, this matter should be resolved. We also hope they will be able to discuss something on the ongoing conflict in Sudan,” stated Mr. Oryem.

However, Oryem clarified that issues related to Uganda-Kenya oil importation would not be on the agenda, as Igad primarily focuses on security conflicts. He emphasized that trade conflicts, such as the one between Uganda and Kenya, would be addressed bilaterally.

Igad comprises eight member states: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti, and Eritrea. While security conflicts are the primary focus of the meeting, it remains to be seen how bilateral trade concerns will be managed in the broader context of regional collaboration.

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