Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, held talks on Monday to address the ongoing dispute regarding Uganda’s petroleum product imports through Kenya.

While a statement from the Ugandan State House confirmed that the leaders discussed “matters of mutual interest,” it provided few specific details. However, Ruto offered a more optimistic view on social media, stating, “We have agreed on a way forward for sourcing and scheduling imports for the region in a manner that will ensure the most competitive pricing and maximum logistical efficiency.”

The Kenyan leader also emphasized the need to revisit plans for the construction of a pipeline connecting Eldoret, Kampala, and Kigali for the transportation of refined petroleum products.

The discussions come amid heightened tensions between the two East African nations. In December, Uganda filed a case against Kenya with the East African Court of Justice after Nairobi denied a license to the Ugandan government-owned oil company (UNOC) to operate locally and handle fuel imports destined for Uganda. This followed Kenya’s refusal in November to grant UNOC a license to operate as a local oil marketer, prompting Uganda to seek legal intervention.

Landlocked Uganda, reliant on neighbouring countries for fuel imports, has explored alternative routes through Tanzania as a potential solution to the current impasse with Kenya.

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