It is nearly five months since the stand off between Uganda and Rwanda took effect and this continues to have its toll on citizens from both countries.
For months now, business, social ties and politics at the boarder have been negatively impacted as political tensions between Uganda and Rwanda continue to paralyse exchange at the boarder.
Business people with financial interests in both countries have had to give up waiting and those with relatives on either side of the boarder have in the past five months had to cancel their functions.
The latest victims of the stand off could however be Rwandan pilgrims who according to reports, have been denied entry in Uganda to join their fellow pilgrims to celebrate the Uganda Martyrs Day at the Namugongo Shrine, today 3rd June 2019.
Every year, At least 20 pilgrims from the Anglican Church of Rwanda join millions of other pilgrims at Namugongo to commemorate the Uganda Martyrs Day on 3rd June.
Statistics from the Uganda Tourism Board revealed that Uganda received 300 Rwandan pilgrims in 2014.
At least 20 pilgrims in 2015 and 600 pilgrims from Rwanda in 2016 ahead of the annual Martyrs Day Celebrations in Namugongo, in each of those years.
The same statistics have however indicated that no Rwandan pilgrim will be gracing this years edition of the celebrations.
Among the foreign pilgrims that confirmed attendance at today’s celebration are;
330 pilgrims from Tanzania, 300 pilgrims from Kenya, 110 from Malawi, 63 from South Africa, 40 from Nigeria, 7 from Japan and none from neighbouring Rwanda.
Sources at the border have indicated that over 280 pilgrims were blocked from entering Uganda by Rwanda’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) personnel at the Katuna and Mirama hill border on Saturday evening. The report further suggests that these were denied entry on grounds that their security in Uganda was not guaranteed.
This comes at a time when the relations between both countries are at an all time lowest.
Last week, Ugandan Security arrested two Rwandan nationals in Kabale district alleging that these were on a spying mission in Uganda.
The arrest came moments after two people, a Rwandan and Ugandan national were shot dead at the border by Rwandan security. The incident intensified political tensions as both countries blamed each other over the incident.