Ugandan traders can finally enter neighboring Rwanda with their goods after the border at Katuna was re-opened to allow movement of heavy trucks, in what Rwanda says will be to try its one-stop-border infrastructure.
Rwanda Revenue Authority issued a statement last night indicating that the area will only be open from today June 10, 2019, to June 22, 2019.
The border was closed in February 2019 in what was interpreted as a result of the row between Uganda and Rwanda. During that time, Ugandan traders were advised to use the Kyanika and Kagitumba border posts to enter Rwanda.
“Reference is made to Rwanda Transport Development Agency letter dated June 7, 2019, which expresses the need to carry out trials for heavy trucks movement on Gatuna [Katuna] OSBP for a period of two weeks from 10th to 22nd June 2019 and assess the operationalization of the constructed works and equipment before the reception of works,” the statement reads.
After its closure, the Rwanda Revenue Authority explained that the closure was due to the construction works ongoing, an argument that was quickly shot down by Ugandans on social media.
It was after closure that Rwandan officials accused Uganda of supporting rebels trying to overthrow the Kigali regime, an accusation Kampala has consistently denied. Kigali also issued a travel advisory to its citizens not to go to Uganda.
Trade between the two countries has since fallen by more than 85 per cent since the February closure.