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Hope of Business Revival Ahead of Uganda-Rwanda border Official Re-opening Today

The driver Flabison Waswa, says that he was cleared at 03:00 AM today morning. He says that the re-opening of the border is highly welcome because it will now be easy for the drivers to access Rwanda.
The first truck to be cleared after border re-opening ( Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

Audio 2

Preparations are ongoing at Katuna ahead of the official reopening of the Uganda-Rwanda border today after three years of closure. 

Rwanda closed its border with Uganda on February 27, 2019, after President, Paul Kagame accused Ugandan authorities of spying on Rwanda, abducting Rwandan nationals, and locking them in non-designated areas.

He also accused Uganda of hosting and facilitating dissidents who have declared war on the Kigali administration. 

Rwanda then issued a travel advisory to its nationals against traveling to Uganda, saying their safety was not guaranteed. 

After months of negotiations, Rwanda announced on January 28th, 2022 the planned reopening of the border.  

The announcement came days after the first son and Commander of the Land Forces Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba visited Kigali where he held talks with the president, Kagame on the bilateral relations between the two countries.

This morning, our reporter visited Katuna border and saw a scanner from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) registration number UBK 998T positioned on the no man’s land on the Ugandan side. 

He also saw a truck registration number UAY 634S parked on the Ugandan’s side waiting to cross to Rwanda. 

URN also saw a tent that will host Ugandan health officials who will conduct COVID-19 testing for people crossing the border. 

Ugandan customs were also busy preparing to resume work. Flabison Waswa, a truck driver told URN that he cleared around 03:00 am.

He has welcomed the border reopening, saying it will ease their access to Rwanda. 

Waswa however, expressed concern about the slow progress of the works of upgrading the customs on the Ugandan side and parking yard.       

He says that after being cleared he got stuck in the mud until at around 10:00 AM.  

 

//Cue in: “mpulila bulingi naye…  

Cue out: …nekangide wano,”//

 

Uganda’s Vice President, Jessica Alupo has asked the Ugandan business community to focus on reviving their business since the border is now open. 

She also called up local leaders and residents to avoid provocative messages and statements that can bring back problems.

//Cue in: “now that border…

Cue out: …that direction.”//

By the time of publishing this story, Kabale and Rukiga district officials led by the LC 5 Chairman, Nelson Nshangabsheija, and Rukiga County MP, Roland Ndyomugyenyi were at Katuna border waiting for Rwandan authorities to hold a meeting about official border opening.