“Following the visit to Rwanda of Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Senior Presidential Advisor 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,” reads part of the 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 reopened from 31st January 2022,” adds the statement.
As is the case for other land border posts in the country, the statement reads, 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 has reiterated commitment to ongoing efforts to resolve pending issues between Rwanda and Uganda.
Rwanda also expressed optimism that the announcement will contribute positively to the normalization of relations between the two countries.
Gatuna border had been closed in 2019 following Rwanda’s concerns over Uganda’s support to dissidents intending to threaten its security and series of arrests of Rwandans incarcerated illegally in the country.
At the time, Rwanda advised citizens not to travel to Uganda for their security following testimonies of over 1000 Rwandans tortured and deported from Uganda.
The decision has had negative impact to citizens’ of both neighboring countries.
Apart from worsened relations, the value of trade between both countries dropped from US$250 million in 2018 to US$10 million.
On 22nd January 2022, Lt Gen Muhoozi who is also the first born son of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni held talks with President Paul Kagame on his visit to Rwanda.
It is said that the discussions bore fruits leading to a step further towards restoring relations to normal.
Before the visit of Lt Gen Muhoozi, Rwanda and Uganda had tried to mend relations through the mediation of DRC and Angola nut ended up in vain.
Despite the tensions, both countries did not close embassies until the current milestone.