Are the Uganda Rwanda borders open?

The Uganda Rwanda borders open again. This ends nearly 3 years of a standoff that seemed to upset both countries’ economies and raised fears of war. The government of Rwanda early on 28th January 2022 announced to open Uganda Rwanda borders.

This good news came after a period of silent negotiation during which the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni posted envoys. Among these was his son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba who engaged in a negotiation with the Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

Uganda Rwanda Borders Open

Why open the Uganda Rwanda borders?

Gen. Muhoozi, the commander of Uganda’s infantry forces, recently visited Rwanda on Saturday 22-01-2022.  We saw that Museveni made some changes in his military. We do think that these eased President Kagame’s decision to open the boarder. He reshuffled the chief of military intelligence after several critics from the Rwanda government.

Rwanda first closed the busy border crossing at Gatuna in February 2019. Talks followed of which Angola and Congo intervened failed to resolve the dispute. This convinced Uganda to negotiate privately with Rwanda.

Information reaching our desk is that Rwanda’s government says the border will officially open today Monday 31st/2022. Its statement said it remained dedicated to the efforts to resolve undecided issues and believes the announcement will contribute positively to the speedy standardization of relations between the two countries. That’s Uganda and Rwanda.

Rwanda Uganda Border Opens

What are the likely effects of opening the Uganda Rwanda borders?

This new development will bring thanks in both countries after almost 2 years of suffering for businesses that lost markets and other opportunities. Rwanda denied Uganda a major market for its exports. Uganda appeared to lose more at the height of what it called an effective trade embargo. Inside Rwanda, the border closure eventually fueled a rise in the prices of dried foods. A Rwandan trader Justin Murenzi stated ‘’let me hope this is real and trade is allowed to resume too”. She was so happy with this new move. She used to import second hand clothes from Uganda but her business collapsed amidst the closure of the border. “The past can be forgotten and begin life again” she added.

Why did Uganda and Rwanda close borders?

The government of Rwanda had ordered its people not to travel to Uganda again, appealing that Rwandan citizens were not safe across the border to Uganda. The government of Rwanda suspected Ugandan authorities of supporting rebels opposing Kagame (Rwanda president). It also demanded the expulsion of the business interests of a Rwandan tycoon by the names Tribert Rujugiro from Uganda. The Rwandan president believed he was a critical to his government. Instead, Ugandan officials made a counter-charge accusing Rwandan state agents of operating illegally in Uganda. This led to the alleged kidnappings of Rwandan citizens wanted back home.

How did citizens react to the closing of borders?

Fears rose among people of both countries of possible war between counties. Rwanda and Uganda raised fears of possible armed conflict as Kagame and Museveni made menacing comments at public events.  Yoweri Museveni one time warned that “those who try to subvert our country do not know our capacity”. Kagame then refuted, “nobody anywhere can bring me to my knees”.

What is the relationship between both Presidents?

Kagame and Museveni, are authoritarian leaders who have ruled their countries for many years, increasingly disagreed in recent years. Kagame was once an intelligence lieutenant for Museveni, asserts his authority at home and in the region. He grew up as a refugee in Uganda, was a Ugandan army Major before he led Uganda-backed rebels who took power in Rwanda at the end of the 1994 genocide.

How does opening of Uganda Rwanda borders affect Tourism?

Uganda and Rwanda are two of the three countries in the world that are home the endangered mountain gorillas. These gentle giants have a attracted huge number of travelers thus incrasing both countries’ Gross Domestic Products. Mountain gorillas have always been big assets for both countries. Therefore, closure of borders was a blow in the face of gorilla tour expeditions.

Gorillas in Rwanda live in the volcanoes national park.Whereas those of Uganda live in two parks including Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla forest national park. Both parks can be accessed in the south western part of Rwanda.

Cost of gorilla permits

A Rwandan gorilla permit costs $1500 while that of Uganda is bought at a fee of $700. Both parks were easily reached from each country. One could pass from the Rwanda side and trek the gorillas in Uganda due to its cheap permit fee. However due to closure of the Rwanda- Uganda border, this has been very impossible. Many gorilla trekkers had to fly to the specic country they wanted to see mountain gorillas in. Therefore, the good news of opening the boarders today on 31/Jan/2022 has brought smiles to very many tour operators as business is going to resume.

What next after opening of Uganda Rwanda border?

Importantly, as Uganda Rwanda borders open, this means good news for both countries’ tourism. Just as before, tourists can fly into Uganda’s Entebbe airport and out of Rwanda’s Kigali airport and the reverse is true.

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