By Maniraguha Ferdinand
Rwanda has reopened Gatuna border temporally to allow movement of trucks coming from or to Uganda, so as to assess the sustainability of new border facilities.
Gatuna border was closed in March this year with Rwanda saying it needs time to repair it. However Uganda accused Rwanda of using border construction as a pretext of tensions between both countries.
Heavy trucks which used to pass there where directed to Kagitumba border, in the north east of Rwanda.
It came amid tensions between Rwanda and Uganda, one accusing another of threatening its security.
A statement from Rwanda Revenue Authority this Sunday, says construction works have been completed, and trucks are allowed to use the border provisionally.
“The management of Rwanda Revenue Authority is pleased to inform the general public that heavy trucks are allowed to provisionally cross Gatuna border between 10th and 22nd June in order to facilitate the trial activities”, Statement reads
Rwanda Transport Development Agency requested that trials must be done on the border to assess the operationalization of the constructed works and equipment before the reception of works.
Before closure, Gatuna was one of the busiest borders bordering Rwanda with Uganda as it’s a short route from Kampala. It is also used to transport goods from Mombasa Port in Kenya.
Uganda business people said they suffered during the closure as it was a quick route to bring goods to Kigali. From Gatuna to Kigali there is a distance of 80 kilometers contrary to 210 kilometers from Kagitumba to Kigali.
It’s believed 51% of goods that enter Rwanda from Uganda, pass through Gatuna border.
It is also used by trucks carrying goods from Burundi and Democratic republic of Congo, heading to Uganda or Congo.