Gatuna border with Uganda reopens to cargo trucks

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The Rwanda-Uganda One Stop Border Post (OSBP) which was closed to heavy trucks earlier this year reopened on Monday, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) said, as construction works near completion.

The management of Rwanda Revenue Authority is pleased to inform the general public that heavy trucks are now allowed to provisionary cross Gatuna OSBP between June 10 to 22, in order to facilitate trial activities, a statement signed by the RRA Commissioner General, Pascal Bizimana said.

RRA said the reopening was for trial movement as recommended by Rwanda Transport Development Agency, in order to assess the operationalization of the constructed works and equipment.

Government blocked cargo trucks from Uganda from entering Rwanda through the main crossing point at the country’s border at Gatuna in February, ostensibly to facilitate construction works.

The closure came amid simmering relations and counter accusations between the two countries of interference in other’s affairs.

Uganda’s ministry of foreign affairs complained that Kigali had instituted a trade embargo on Uganda.

However, Rwanda dismissed reports of instituting trade embargo on Uganda as “untrue and diversionary” explaining that the border closure was not related to their counter accusations.

Rwanda outlined specific issues which it called on Uganda to address.
These include, the fate of Rwandans said to have been arrested, incarcerated without consular access and tortured, and the presence of armed groups and terrorist organizations hostile to Rwanda, including Rwanda National Congress (RNC), Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Uganda denies the claims.

The construction works at the OSBP have now reached about 96 percent, the Rwandan ministry of infrastructure told media last month.

All heavy trucks to and from Uganda to Kigali via Gatuna border have been using the eastern route through Kagitumba border and another route through Cyanika border.

The Gatuna road is one of the main routes linking Rwanda to Kampala and to the port of Mombasa via the northern corridor.

About 50 percent of imports to Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by road pass through the northern corridor via the Kigali-Gatuna road.

The distance from Kigali to the Rwanda-Uganda border of Kagitumba through eastern Rwanda Rwamagana town is longer about 186 kilometers, compared to the route stretching to Gatuna border through northern Gicumbi district from Kigali which is 77.8 kilometers.

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