In a statement released on twitter – Rwanda will reopen its main border with Uganda on Monday 31st January. This is after the Gatuna border abruptly closed in 2019, after Rwanda accused Uganda of abducting Rwandans and supporting rebels. Uganda denied the accusation and instead blamed Rwanda of infiltrating its security agencies.
Long story short – the border was closed and now there’s hope for better days ahead.
“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,” Rwanda’s Foreign Ministry stated.
Rwanda-Uganda gatuna border vital regional trade link
The border closure has severely disrupted trade links in the region. Ugandan goods, including food and cement, dominated the Rwandan market before the closure of the border.
Also, tourism was disrupted tremendously since for guests to connect to the other country, flying was involved which increased rates. These meant increase itinerary costs making travel between the two countries expensive. However, with the opening of the border we hope to see more inter-country tourism.
As of 31st January, the Gatuna border has been reopened and its now business as usual. Many tourism enthusiasts have taken on reselling safaris that combine the two countries either with a crossing via Cyanika border or Gatuna border.
It is important to remember that Rwanda primarily relies on a transport corridor that runs from the Kenyan port of Mombasa and on through Uganda. The same road is also known to funnels goods to Burundi and eastern Congo. Reopening the borders is advantageous to the entire region and it is our hope it stays that way.
For safaris to both Uganda and Rwanda, contact us for more details.