In what seems to be one of the fruits of the recent visit of UPDF Land Forces Commander, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba to Kigali, Rwanda has announced re-opening Gatuna common border post that has been closed for nearly three years.

Rwanda closed Katuna/Gatuna border in March 2019 initially fronting what they called ongoing construction works. Cargo was then diverted to Mirama Hills and Kyanika border posts in Ntungamo and Kisoro districts, but those too were later closed.

They shortly after, issued a travel advisory to its nationals warning them against travelling to Uganda, which it accused of, among other things, abducting its citizens and detaining them in ungazetted areas, allegations government of Uganda disputed.

Rwanda has since been blocking her citizens from moving to Uganda by road for “their own safety and security.”

Since the closure of border, there has been at least four tripartite meetings involving Angolan President Joao Lourenço, and DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi, and a series of lower level meetings between government officials of the two nations, but they have not yielded much.

Last week, Muhoozi who is also President Museveni’s Senior Advisor in Charge of Special Operations held talks with President Paul Kagame in Rwanda on the relations of the two countries.

Details of the meeting between the two have never been made public but the Office of the President of Rwanda described the talks as cordial and productive.

“President Kagame and General Muhoozi Kainerugaba had cordial, productive and forward looking discussions about Rwanda’s concerns and practical steps needed to restore the relationship between Rwanda and Uganda,” according to Rwanda’s Presidency.

Now, a statement from Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued on Friday morning, indicates that the border will be reopened on Monday next week.

“The Government of Rwanda has taken note that there is a progress to solve issues raised by Rwanda as well as commitments made by the Government of Uganda to address remaining obstacles,” the statement reads in part.

“In this regard and in line with the communique of the 4th Quadripartite summit held at Katuna/Gatuna on 21st February 2020, the Government of Rwanda wishes to inform the public that the Gatuna border post between Rwanda and Uganda will be reopened on 31st January, 2022,” Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in the statement.

“Rwanda remains committed to ongoing efforts to resolve pending issues between Rwanda and Uganda and believes that today’s announcement will contribute positively to the speedy normalization of relations between the two countries,” it added.

This week President Museveni replaced Maj Gen Abel Kandiho as the head of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), a move that many political commentators project as one of the conditions set by Kigali to have the ties amended.

It is should be remembered that Rwanda on several occasions accused Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, in his capacity as CMI head, of harrasing, torturing and killing Rwandans in Uganda.

Uganda has occasionally regarded the allegations as being untrue but consistently expressed readiness to peacefully engage with Rwanda on any arising issues for purposes of peace and restoring normalcy.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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