First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

We need so many more of our readers to join them. The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country. We are inundated with tip-offs; we know where to look and what to do with the information when we have it – we just need the means to help us keep doing this work.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Rwanda to re-open border with Uganda as relations thaw

Newsdeck

Africa

Rwanda to re-open border with Uganda as relations thaw

Ugandan troops are deployed around the house of Ugandan presidential candidate Bobi Wine in the Magere neighbourhood of Kampala, 16 January 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE / STR)
By Reuters
28 Jan 2022 0

KIGALI, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Rwanda will re-open on Monday a border crossing with Uganda that was shuttered nearly three years ago, even as tensions rise between the central African neighbours, fuelled by accusations of espionage and support for each other's dissidents.

Rwanda had repeatedly accused Uganda of supporting rebel groups planning to topple the government in Kigali while Kampala accused Rwanda of carrying out illegal espionage activities in Uganda.

In a statement on Twitter on Friday, Rwanda’s foreign ministry said the country would re-open the common border on Jan. 31.

“Rwanda has taken note that there is a process to solve issues raised by Rwanda, as well as commitments made by the government of Uganda to address remaining obstacles,” it said in the statement.

Various attempts, including mediation efforts by Angola, to restore normal relations and open the border had yielded little.

The border closure in March 2019 had severely disrupted the trade links in the region.

For its external trade, Rwanda primarily relies on a transport corridor that runs from the Indian ocean port of Mombasa through Kenya and Uganda. The same road also funnels goods through Rwanda to Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda and Uganda have long harboured mutual suspicions and hostilities, partly stemming from historical ties between both countries’ politics and security.

Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s current leader, grew up in Uganda and participated in the a guerrilla struggle that brought Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, 77, to power.

The move to re-open the border followed a meeting in Kigali last week between Kagame and Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba who is also a general in the military and who the public widely believes is being prepared to take over from his long-serving father.

A resumption of normal trade at the two countries’ border crossing is potentially a much needed impetus for jump-starting regional economies battered by effects of COVID-19 containment measures.

Rwanda and Uganda are members of regional trade bloc East African Community alongside Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan.

By Clement Uwiringiyimana.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by George Obulutsa and Lincoln Feast.)

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted