The Uganda Law Society has withdrawn a case it had filed before the East African Court of Justice accusing Rwanda of illegally closing its border posts early this year.
ULS had dragged Rwanda to court for illegally closing its border with Uganda in Katuna and Cyanika in Kabale and Kisoro district respectively in February.
However, on Monday, when the matter came up for conferencing at the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, the ULS lawyer, Simon Peter Lukuya told court that he has got instructions from his clients to discontinue the petition.
“There has been a change of circumstances and our client would like to withdraw the said reference in line with rule 51 of the EACJ Rules of Procedure. We apologise on behalf of our client for any inconvenience caused and kindly seek for your indulgences,”Lukuya, from KTA advocates, told court on Monday.
The development means the petition filed by Ugandan lawyer, Steven Kalali against the Rwanda government for closure of its border is the only one standing in the East African Court of Justice.
Parties agree on issues for determination
Meanwhile, the conferencing in the matter filed by Kalali took place at the East African Court of Justice in Arusha and the parties agreed on issues that will need determination of the court.
The parties including Kalali(Ugandan advocate) and the Rwandan Attorney General agreed that the court should determine whether the respondent’s acts of closure of her border points and blocking of access to the border points contravenes Articles 5(2), 6(b)(c)(d),7(1)(c),8(1)(c), 74 and 76(1) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The court will also determine whether the acts of the Rwandan government in restricting freedom of movement of Rwandan citizens to Uganda against their wish is in breach of Articles 6(b)(c),123(1)(3)(a)(c)(e),124(2)and7(2)(d) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The court will also determine whether the Rwanda government’s act of disallowing Ugandan traders from entering its border points with goods contravenes the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Treaty and the East African Common Market Protocol.
In his petition against the Attorney General of Rwanda, Kalali who is represented by Joseph Mutyaba and Richard Wananda contends that the actions by the Rwanda government to closure its border points with Uganda defeat the spirit of the East African Treaty, Free trade and Common Market Protocol since the closed border posts were also serving other countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.