By Philip Wasswa
Kampala. The government has issued a travel advisory for Ugandans interested in travelling to Rwanda.
This comes on the heels of deteriorating diplomatic ties with the neighbouring country, with Rwanda asking its citizens to halt journeys to Uganda.
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde advised Ugandans to use two alternative routes for goods in transit destined for Rwanda.
The two border points the minister provided are Mirama hills in Ntungamo District and Kyanika in Kisoro District.
Government has also advised traders with goods supposed to transit through Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo to instead exit through the border points between Uganda and DRC.
“Goods destined to Rwanda from Uganda consider exiting into Rwanda via Mirama Hills and Kyanika Customs Border posts; goods in Uganda territory, destined for the DRC consider exiting via Customs Border Posts shared by Uganda and DRC” Ms Kyambadde said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Government has also advised business people with customs transaction documents already prepared ahead of taking goods and merchandise to Rwanda to contact the Uganda Revenue Authority customs office at Nakawa, Kampala for necessary review.
Government however noted that the movement of Ugandans to and from Rwanda “remains unimpeded”
A travel advisory is issued by government departments to citizens, warning them of insecurity, crime, instability, disease or harsh weather likely to be encountered in a given destination.
In diplomacy, travel advisories signal escalation of diplomatic misunderstandings, and are issued to protest against a hostile position of a country.
Uganda and Rwanda has in the past two years battled mistrust and diplomatic problems, which escalated last week with the closure of the Katuna-Gatuna border, which Kigali claims was due to ongoing construction works.
Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Richard Sezibera last week addressed a news conference, at which he said a number of Rwandan citizens are under illegal incarceration in Uganda.
Sezibera said Uganda is harbouring members of the Rwanda National Council, a group Kigali says seeks to topple President Paul Kagame’s government.
It is led by Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, a renegade Rwandan military chief.
In a short media statement, Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa condemned Sezibera’s news conference, saying Rwanda “knows only too well that the allegations are false”.