By Fred Kiva
Uganda border posts with Rwanda continue to operate normally, despite restricted entry of Rwandans and goods into Ugandan by the Rwandan authorities.
In a statement issued on Wednesday Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuted allegations that Uganda had closed its border with Rwanda saying,“Since 28 February 2019 when the government of Rwanda issued an advisory against travel of its nationals to Uganda, flow of traffic from Uganda to Rwanda has been continuing normally.”
The Ministry went ahead to give statistics of the traffic flow at the border posts, indicating that 41 transactions have since been processed at Cyanika border post, while 85 transactions were processed at Katuna border.At Mirama Hills border post 311 transactions have been processed.
“However, this is only for light vehicles that were being allowed to crossover,” the Ministry explained.
“Consistent with its obligations under regional and continental frameworks, Uganda remains committed to ensuring the free movement of persons and goods across borders, “the Ministry added.
There has been stalemate at the Uganda-Rwanda border in Katuna since late February as Rwanda closed off its citizens and goods from crossing over to Uganda. At first the reason given for the border closure was that it was because of the road works which could not allow free movement of vehicles. However, as the impasse continued, with Uganda pestering its neighbour for a genuine reason for the border closure, Rwanda’s Foreign Minister and government spokesperson Richard Sezibera addressed a press conference in Kigali accusing the government in Kampala of harbouring Rwandan dissidents.The accusation was however vehemently denied by Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa.
Uganda has also since denied accusations of illegally detaining and deporting Rwandans, as alleged by some Rwandan government officials. Meanwhile as Uganda makes its position clear, the border impasse at Katuna continues, with Rwanda still prohibiting Ugandan exports.
“What is happening on the ground however, is that export of Ugandan goods to Rwanda has been prohibited by Rwandan authorities. The same authorities are only allowing crossing into Rwanda those trucks carrying transit goods destined for Rwanda or transiting through Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo and other places,” Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.