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Eritrean President Begins 3-Day Visit to Uganda

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (R) and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki wave as Afewerki arrived in Uganda for a three-day visit, August 16, 2011

Eritrea's President Isaias Afewerki, who rarely travels abroad, has begun a three-day visit to Uganda.

Uganda provides most of the African Union peacekeeping troops in Somalia, a country that President Afewerki has been accused of destabilizing by allegedly financially supporting al-Shabab militants. Afewerki has called those accusations from the United Nations, "ridiculous and absurd."

A statement from Uganda's State House said Afewerki will hold talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, visit several trade centers and visit with Eritreans living in Uganda.

Eritrea recently indicated it wanted to rejoin an East African peace bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development [IGAD], four years after leaving the organization.

The United Nations has imposed an arms embargo and travel restrictions on Eritrea, along with asset freezes on political and military leaders it accuses of violating the arms embargo on Somalia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.