The ministry of Foreign Affairs has scheduled a meeting with the Rwanda ambassador to Uganda, Maj Gen Frank Mugambage, to explain the impasse over the temporary closure of three border points that serve the two countries.
Yesterday, Rwanda authorities announced that they had temporary closed Katuna border post to trucks and other motorised transport to allow for construction works. The authorities proposed that the trucks be diverted to Mirama Hills border point, Ntungamo.
However government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo told a media briefing today that even the Mirama Hills border point had been closed off and only 12 out of 129 trucks destined for Uganda were allowed in. Other border points, Cyanika and Kagitumba were also temporary closed.
Ofwono said the ministry of Foreign Affairs had invited the Rwanda ambassador to Uganda for a meeting today afternoon so that he can “brief us on official reason for this closure or what they have officially described as temporary diversion.”
He said that the interaction will seek to address three issues: lifting the blockade on the border points; what Rwanda is doing between now and later today about the impasse and underscoring the need for normalisation of activities at the common border points of Katuna, Mirama hills and Kagitumba.
Ofwono also said Rwanda was not allowing its nationals to cross into Uganda including pupils and students who study in Uganda.
“Yesterday we had the weekly market at Kisoro at Cyanika border. They did not allow Rwandese to bring their merchandise or to come and buy. The impact is not openly felt in Uganda but also on the Rwanda side because many of the people buy essential goods from here. Even hundreds of school children from Rwanda cross to Uganda and go back every evening. They were not allowed to come. apart from temporary closure as a result of construction, we have not received official communication as to why Rwandese are not allowed to cross to Uganda,” Ofwono said.
He said there was no witch hunt of Rwandese in Uganda.
“They [Rwandans in Uganda] are doing their normal activities as they have done. There is no Rwandan in police custody outside the jurisdiction of the law. Any Rwandan in custody has been processed through the police system or judicial system,” he said.
Over the last couple of months, Uganda and Rwanda have had a frosty relationship.