By Alex Byakatonda
Katuna border in Kabale District has been partially reopened to cargo trucks, following more than three years of closure.
On 28th January 2022, Rwanda announced in a statement that the border would re-open today. The border had been closed on February 27, 2019. Rwanda’s statement came barely a few days after Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Uganda’s Senior Presidential Adviser on Special Operations and Commander Land Forces visited Kigali, and held bilateral discussions with the Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Now, today at around 9:30 am, Ugandan officials led by the Kabale District chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, his Kisoro counterpart, Abel Biz’imana, the Rubanda West Mp, Moses Kamuntu Mwongyera, and his Rukiga county counterpart, Rolland Ndyomugyenyi Bish, arrived at the border, to witness its re-opening.
However, at around 11:30 am, Ugandan officials led by Abel Kagumire Commissioner for Customs in charge of Katuna border, and officials from the Immigrations department at Katuna border held a closed-door meeting with Rwandan security authorities at the Rwandan border side of Gatuna. The meeting took like an hour.
After the meeting, Kagumire said that they talked about harmonizing on modalities and steps to follow while clearing the cargo trucks. He said that there are still many unsolved glitches was yet to Rwanda is yet to clear.
Abel Bizimana, Kisoro District LC5 Chairman, wondered why the border was not fully reopened and tasked Rwanda to revise and solve every glitch for the effective crossing of the people.
The Kabale District LC5 Chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, said that even in the last three years Uganda’s borders have been fully open, although he said that the border closure by Rwanda, had a big financial impact not only on the District but the country as a whole. He, however, advised the business people, who were trading at the border to return and resume their businesses, expressing optimism that with the partial reopening of the border, the situation will return to normalcy.