KIGALI – The government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced that they will re-open the Gatuna border post with the Republic of Uganda from January 31, 2022.
This comes days after the Commander of Land Forces in the UPDF, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba who also doubles as the Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations visited and held talks with Rwanda President Paul Kagame in Kigali.
“Following the visit to Rwanda of Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Senior Presidential Adviser on Special Operations and Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on 22nd January 2022, the Government of Rwanda has taken note that there is a process to solve issues raised by Rwanda, as well as commitments made by the Government of Uganda to address remaining obstacles,” said Rwanda in a statement.
“In this regard and in line with the communiqué of the 4th Quadripartite Summit held at Gatuna/Katuna on 21st February 2020, the Government of Rwanda wishes to inform the public that the Gatuna border post between Rwanda and Uganda will be re-opened from 31st January 2022.”
They said that as it is the case for other land border posts in the country, health authorities of Rwanda and Uganda will work together to put in place necessary measures to facilitate movement in the context of COVID-19.
“The Government of 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.”
Gen Muhoozi who was received by Col Willy Rwagasana, the head of the Rwandan Republican Guard, Col Ronald Rwivanga, the Rwandan Ministry of Defence spokesperson and Anne Katusiime, the Charge d’affairs at the Ugandan High Commission in Kigali visited his “uncle” on Saturday.
According to the office of presidency in Rwanda, the two had a tête-à-tête meeting.
“President Kagame and Gen 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,” a tweet from the office of presidency in Rwanda said.
The relations between the two neighbouring countries characterised by counter-accusations have been at their lowest for close to six years.
What started as a cold war become pronounced in 2019 with Rwanda closing its border with Uganda and stopping its citizens from crossing to Uganda.
Rwanda accuses Uganda of being linked to hostile groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) — an armed rebel group operating in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), which is a Rwandan Opposition group – all allegedly fighting Rwanda.
The Ugandan government has dismissed the allegation as not true.
On the other side, Uganda accuses Rwanda of infiltrating its security agencies, with authorities saying some Rwandan security officials had direct and indirect contact with key strategic security personnel in Uganda who have sent information outside of official channels to Rwanda, a claim the Kigali establishment denies.
The sour relations saw officials from the Kigali establishment describe President Museveni as a bully.
However, speaking to French TV, France 24 in an exclusive prerecorded interview, Museveni dismissed the claims as unfounded.
“Well, a bully how? By doing what? I don’t agree with it. He should tell you how we are bullies,” Museveni said in response to a question by a journalist.