Rwanda-Uganda border impasse
Rwanda-Uganda border still unresolved even after the Angola and Rwanda summit. File Photo

Rwanda-Uganda border Katuna remains closed, even after August 2019, the summit between the two countries heads of State.

Rwanda-Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to end the border fight that has been going on between Uganda and Rwanda, affecting business transactions arising from closed border points, under Rwanda government directives.

Peace talks deals between Rwanda and Uganda aimed at resolving the strange relations between the two sister countries began in August 2019.

The two countries head of States, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda attended the first Ad-hoc Commission in Luanda, Angola capital and signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement, aimed at normalising relations between the two sister East African countries that had turned wild.

In the agreement, the two countries agreed to treat each other’s citizens’ with due respect. But on the issue of re-opening the border and free movement of people, it was pushed over to the next meeting.

However, last month September 16, 2019, the second meeting was held in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital and numbery of agreements’ of mutual interests were arrived at.

In the communique released, signed by the Minister of State in charge of East African Community, Oliver Nduhungirehe who led the Rwanda delegates and the Uganda Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, agreed to re-open the border that will see free movement of people in the next meeting due to happen in Kampala after 30days.

The 30 days’ time period given to hold the third meeting elapsed on the 16th, October 2019, but Uganda insists the summit aimed at ending border impasse at Katuna and Gatuna border points, that has ceased tracks of goods from Uganda and other business transactions from accessing Rwanda will happen soon.

Katuna border mayor, Nelson Nshangabasheija yesterday revealed that even after the meetings held, nothing has changed, Uganda tracks carrying well to Rwanda are still barred from entering Rwanda, except small cars, buses and tourists’ vehicles.

“Since that time, no Rwandan national is allowed to cross into Uganda or any cargo vehicle from Uganda crossing into Rwanda. All Ugandan goods are not allowed to be taken to Rwanda. It is only small cars, tourist vehicles, and buses that are allowed,” Nshangabasheija revealed.

He adds that Rwandan primary and secondary school students who study in Uganda, have been blocked from entering Uganda to attend their classes.

Gen Frank Mugambage, the Rwandan Ambassador to Uganda refrained from commenting on the matter saying the commission in charge of handing the border impasse matter has the best answer for that.

“Ask the Ad-hoc commission.”

Nevertheless, Philemon Mateke, Uganda’s State Minister for Regional Cooperation said the Ad-hoc commission will meet and reschedule a date for the next meeting expected in Kampala.

“The Ad-hoc commission will meet to discuss the issue of the border closure. It did not take place as scheduled, but it will be held soon,” Mateke noted.

Meanwhile, Darius Nandinda, the Kabale Resident District Commissioner cautioned Uganda traders from smuggling goods into Rwanda, because smuggling is a serious border crime. He, however, urged them to respect and honour the law, until everything turns normal once again.

“As bilateral talks continue, I appeal to the Ugandan traders in the border communities to respect the law,” Nandinda said.