The Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced Thursday evening through a press release the reopening of the Gatuna border between Rwanda and Uganda, closed for almost two years following mutual accusations of political interference and ‘spying.
“The Government of Rwanda would like to inform the public that the Gatuna border post between Rwanda and Uganda will be reopened from January 31, 2022”.
“As is the case with other land border crossings in the country, the health authorities of Rwanda and Uganda will work together to put in place the necessary measures to facilitate travel in the context of Covid-19”.
The Gatuna post, the main border between Rwanda and Uganda, is reopened the day after a visit to Rwanda on January 22, 2022 by Lieutenant-General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the Ugandan President’s senior adviser for special operations and commander of the Ugandan Army Ground Forces.
The Rwandan government notes that there is “a process for resolving the problems raised by Rwanda” and welcomes the “commitments made by the Ugandan government to overcome the remaining obstacles”.
“Rwanda remains committed to the ongoing efforts to resolve the outstanding issues between Rwanda and Uganda and believes that this decision will positively contribute to the rapid normalization of relations between the two countries.”
Relations between the two neighboring East African countries have been at their worst for nearly four years. Rwanda accuses Uganda of supporting armed groups against it, harboring hostile groups, kidnapping and torturing Rwandans in its territory. This led to the closure of the border in February 2019.
Uganda has also accused Rwanda of attempting to impose a trade embargo and engaging in espionage.
After the closure of the Gatuna border post, talks between the two leaders were organized under the aegis of the Angolan heads of state Joao Lourenço and Congolese Félix Tshisekedi. The fourth and last meeting took place in February 2020 in Gatuna.
The Ugandan authorities have not yet reacted to this decision by Kigali. But General Muhoozi and the Ugandan government have already relayed the Rwandan communiqué on their official Twitter accounts.
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