COVID-19: Rwanda- DRC Borders partially opened for students and medics

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 4 November 2020 at 02:04

Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have agreed on temporarily opening borders for essential services amidst standing measures taken to prevent spread of the new coronavirus.

The decision was taken Monday during a joint cross border meeting between Rwandan and DR Congo officials aimed at assessing the Covid19 situation along the Bukavu-Goma border posts.

The Governor of the Western Province, Alphonse Munyantwali and his counterpart from North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Carly Kasivita, discussed ways to improve the use of the Rubavu border in trade to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In a meeting held in Goma town, both governors agreed on allowing education and healthcare staff, students, sick persons and permanent employees to cross the two borders.

“We didn’t open the borders but instead agreed on allowing some categories of persons to employees and students to cross over with legal travel documents and stay in the destination country without crossing every day,” said Munyantwali, the Governor of the Western province.

The Rwanda-DR Congo borders with North Kivu are composed of two kinds of border post, the Grande and Petite barrier; the latter being normally the busiest part of the border areas where one can see flocks of small, medium traders crossing with charts full of cargo and others carrying merchandise on fabricated tri-cycle carriers.

The two borders also serve as entry and exit points for persons on business trip, pleasure or education visits crossing into each of the countries either on foot or in transit vehicles.

To limit the spread of Covid-19, all these activities had been shifted to only the Grande barrière, so as to allow both sides to easily monitor movements and ensure preventive measures are under control.

To allow continuation of these business activities, the meeting also discussed possibilities of allowing cross border trade but limited it to only using the Petite barrier posts with strict coronavirus prevention measures in place.

In this category, both governors agreed on allowing cooperatives and trade associations to operate.

The governors also agreed to continue to build a peaceful business environment along the two borders to ease doing business.

The Governor of the North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Carly Kasivita,
The Governor of the Western Province, Alphonse Munyantwali
Rwanda and DRC discussed ways to improve the use of the Rubavu border in trade to prevent the spread of COVID-19

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