Rwanda to reopen border with Uganda ending three years standoff

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The Government of Rwanda has announced it will re-open its main border with Uganda in a move aimed at helping restore ties between the two countries.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released Thursday night, Rwanda will re-open the Gatuna Border Post on Monday, January 31.

Gatuna, the busiest of the three major border crossings between the two countries, has been inactive for about three years after Rwanda issued an advisory to its citizens warning them against travel to Uganda over security concerns.

According to the communique, the latest move follows the visit of Lt Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Senior Presidential advisor on Special Operations and Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, to Rwanda during which he held talks with President Paul Kagame. Muhozi is the son to President Yoweri Museveni.

“The Government of Rwanda has taken note that there is a progress to solve issues raised by Rwanda as well as commitments made by the Government of Uganda to address remaining obstacles,” the statement reads in part.

Muhoozi’s visit was widely perceived as a positive step towards reviving ties between the two countries.

Three days after Muhoozi’s visit to Rwanda, Uganda replaced Maj Gen Abel Kandiho as the head of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

Under Kandiho’s leadership, CMI was accused of harrasing, torturing and killing Rwandans.

“In this regard and in line with the communique of the 4th Quadripartite summit held at Katuna/Gatuna on 21st February 2020, the Government of Rwanda wishes to inform the public that the Gatuna border post between Rwanda and Uganda will be reopened on 31st January, 2022,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in the statement.

In addition, the Government said that, just like other land border posts with other countries, health authorities of Rwanda and Uganda will work together to put in place necessary measures to facilitate movement in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Rwanda remains committed to ongoing efforts to resolve pending issues between Rwanda and Uganda and believes that today’s announcement will contribute positively to the speedy normalization of relations between the two countries,” it added. – The New Times Rwanda