Rwanda opens part of its border with Uganda

Photo Courtesy: The Rwanda New Times

Rwandan authorities have temporarily reopened the country’s busiest border crossing with Uganda to allow heavy goods vehicles to cross.

Photo Courtesy: The Rwanda New Times

A diplomatic feud between the two countries led Rwanda to stopped most cross-border movements in February. The closing at the Katuna border point severely impacted commerce and daily life for thousands of people on both sides.

During that time, Ugandan traders were advised to use the Kyanika and Kagitumba border posts to enter Rwanda.

It is estimated that 70% of border trade was stopped, the Uganda authorities have said.

The Rwandan tax authority said in a statement that the temporary reopening of the Katuna crossing will last for two weeks.  The two-week trial period will help authorities assess the safety and efficiency of heavy truck movements following the construction of one-stop border post facilities on the Rwandan side of the border crossing.

A one-stop border post allows passengers and cargo to complete crossing formalities at a shared facility, hence easing cross-border trade and movement.

It allows for all procedures and processing of documentation for goods and passengers either direction to be carried out in a single clearance hall, significantly cutting on the time it takes when such immigration and customs approvals on either side are conducted separately.

Rwanda has at least a one-stop border post with each of its four neighbours, with the Gatuna facility set to be the second such crossing with Uganda, after Kagitumba.