Closed borders won’t affect Uganda’s trade – Museveni

A Rwandan security man guarding the border post. Rwanda closed its borders on February 27

President Yoweri Museveni has described the closure of the Uganda-Rwanda border as a temporary issue, which should not stop Uganda from trading, using other alternative markets, such as Kenya and Ethiopia

Speaking during the opening of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Parliamentary caucus retreat in Kyankwanzi, on Friday, Museveni assured the NRM MPs that the instabilities in the region will not stop Uganda’s market from expanding.

He said, with the big market that Uganda enjoys in countries like Kenya and Ethiopia, the temporary border issues with neighboring countries, such as Rwanda, will not have much of an impact on the country’s trade

“There will be other markets. We are exporting to Kenya. So, these temporary things will not stop us, when there is a problem here; there is another opportunity somewhere else,” Museveni said.

The President made the remarks, in response to MP Tom Aza (West Moyo) who expressed concern that the current standoff between Uganda and some neighboring countries, like Rwanda, is likely to affect its trade.

His question followed a lecture to the MPs on how industrialization can be used as one of the key sectors towards economic growth and development of the country.

On February 27, Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda at Katuna and Cyanika in Kabale and Kisoro districts, respectively. The closure affected hundreds of cargo trucks destined for Rwanda. The Rwandan authorities advised the truck drivers to turn back and use Mirama Hills border.

Initially, Rwanda claimed it had closed the borders to work on the one-stop border post. However, Rwanda’s foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, Richard Sezibera, later issued a travel advisory to their nationals, strongly cautioning them against travelling to Uganda, saying their safety is not guaranteed.

Rwanda, accuses Uganda of harboring Rwandan dissidents planning to topple the Kigali government under President Paul Kagame. Uganda has dismissed the allegations.