On January 31, Monday, Uganda and Rwanda will open their border once again after the three years of closure. It is an indication that they are ending their frigid relations between the two East African countries.
It is a sudden announcement that the government made last week; as per the Kigali, the border will open again after the extended closure, signalling a defrost relations between the two East African nations that had long been at loggerheads.
Uganda President “Yoweri Museveni’s son “Muhoozi Kainerugaba— seen as playing a significant role in the decision to open the border. He took it to Twitter and stated, “Now our people can freely move, trade, and interact as Almighty God always intended.”
But due to rain at the main Gatuna post, the situation was not so clear. Rwanda people were complaining that they were not being allowed by the authorities to cross the border due to a heavy rainstorm, so they are facing delays to cross the border.
According to one Rwanda trader, “I was informed that the border is open, and I came here to cross the border to Uganda and to purchase some things. But Rwandan government officials have told me that I cannot cross the border until the following notice. It’s quite confusing.”
Even the trade between these two countries was also closed in February 2019 as tension raised between Kigali and Kampala looped over rival accusations of intelligence and political meddling.
Kigali used to rely more on the Uganda route for their bulk of imports when they announced that they were opening their border as a step towards repairing ties.
According to the tweet by Rwandan government spokeswoman, “Yolande Makolo”, the people of Rwanda, trucks for import and export and returning residents who want to cross the border at Gatuna have to cross it in a queue with COVID-19 restrictions.
She further added that “Rwanda and Uganda health officials are working hard to prevent citizens from COVID-19, without mentioning the situation for Rwandans wanting to travel to Uganda.”
The truck driver of Uganda was the first person to return to his home country just after the stroke of midnight.
“Our health teams are working hard to ensure that every citizen or people who cross the border are tested and then allowed to proceed,” he added.