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Regional manufacturers ask Museveni, Kagame to “walk the talk” on Rwanda-Uganda standoff

Regional manufacturers cry foul over Katuna border closure. (COURTESY PHOTO)

KAMPALA/ KIGALI – The East African Manufacturers’ Association (EAMA) has also joined calls for the leadership of Rwanda and Uganda to work out a way to resolve their differences.

The grouping of more than 100 industrialists from within the East African Community EAC bloc wants the two countries to do what they preach about regional integration.

“The Uganda-Rwanda border disruption is definitely having severe effects on our traders. EAMA pleads to both governments to solve their differences soonest and walk the talk of the EU-EAC PTA, EAC Customs Union and ACFTA,” reads the statement in parts.

EU-EAC PTA is the East African Community-European Union Preferential Trade Agreements which allow tariff-free access to EU markets for some goods and opens up EAC. The AfCFTA African Continental Free Trade Area adopted in Rwanda by AU leaders.

It is now eight days since Rwanda took the first step by temporarily closing the Gatuna border post with Uganda for ‘construction purposes’, and redirecting traffic to Kagitumba/Mirama hills border – more than 100km away.

Kigali said, no Rwandan national will be allowed to travel to Uganda over what they said

However, Mr. Richard Sezibera denied reports that Rwanda had closed her borders with Uganda, saying that both Kagitumba and Cyanika border posts were operating normally, while travelers have experienced difficulties at Gatuna border as a result of ongoing works there.

However, Uganda still maintains her borders with Rwanda are not operating normally; but the government has called for calm, saying the Rwandan authorities were being engaged for an amicable solution.

The minister said that the challenges emanating from the Ugandan side amount to a breach of the common market and single customs territory protocols, signed under the East African Community.

He emphasised that, for Rwanda, “peace and security for Rwandans is paramount with or without regional integration.”

The paper further says that when the minister was asked whether Uganda has ever presented any grievances to Rwanda, Mr. Sezibera said: “I am not aware of any.”

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