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Rwanda taken to EA court of Justice over closed border

President Paul Kagame. A Ugandan sued Rwanda over closed borders. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – A Ugandan citizen has dragged the government of Rwanda to the East African Court of Justice for closing its borders with Uganda.

Mr. Steven Kalali, an advocate says he is depressed by the conduct of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Mr. Kalali filed his petition at the registry of the East African Court of Justice at the Supreme Court in Kololo, Kampala.

Quoting Daily monitor publishers, “In a petition he filed against the Attorney General of Rwanda, Mr Kalali contends that what Rwanda has done defeats the spirit of the East African Treaty, Free trade and Common Market Protocol since the closed border posts were also serving other countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.”

Mr. Kalali wants the justices at regional court, to order Rwanda open its borders to allow a free movement of Ugandan citizens and goods in the spirit of free trade.

On February 28, Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda in Katuna and Chanika in Kabale and Kisoro districts respectively.

The closure affected hundreds of cargo trucks destined for Rwanda. The Rwandan authorities advised the truck drivers to turn back and use Mirama Hill border in Ntungamo District, which is 100 kilometres away.

Initially, Rwanda claimed it had closed the borders to work on the Onestop border post.

Residents have since resorted to quick means of survival, sneaking into both countries using illegal routes to smuggle goods from either side.

At the Mirama Hills/Kagitumba border posts, muscle and daring young men have continued to use illegal routes to smuggle goods.

More so, March 27 at sides of Cyanika border, a pregnant woman in her mid-30s collapsed and died trying to flee Rwanda Army who had stopped her and other from crossing over to Uganda to look for food.

Based in Arusha, Tanzania, The East African Court of Justice is a treaty-based judicial body of the East African Community tasked to ensure adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the East African Community Treaty of 1999.

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