Rwanda re-opens Uganda border


Rwanda will re-open its busiest border post with Uganda to cargo trucks for 12 days, more than three months after it was closed amid tension between the neighbours triggered by security and economic disagreements.

In a statement, Rwanda’s revenue body said it was “pleased to inform the general public heavy trucks are allowed to provisionally cross Gatuna border,” for 12 days starting Monday.

At the end of February, Rwanda blocked Ugandan cargo trucks from entering at the crossing, which Rwandans call Gatuna and Ugandans call Katuna. Authorities in Kigali stopped Rwandan nationals travelling to Uganda.

Rwandan officials said they will decide after two weeks whether or not to reopen the border permanently.

Rwandans were still banned from travelling to Uganda, minister of state for foreign affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe told Reuters.

“That issue will be solved when issues of illegal arrest, harassment and torture of Rwandans in Uganda will be solved by Ugandan authorities,” he said.

The government of President Paul Kagame accuses Kampala of harassing Rwandan nationals travelling to Uganda and giving succour to rebel groups including the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and the FDLR who want to oust Kagame.

The cargo blocking disrupted commerce on a crucial regional transport artery. Rwanda depends for much of its imports on a trade route through Uganda to Kenya’s Indian Ocean seaport Mombasa. The route is also used to transport goods from Kenya and Uganda to Burundi and parts of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.