Rwanda-Uganda relation literally collapsed when, on February 27, 2019, Rwandan strongman General Paul Kagame closed the Rwanda-Uganda border. Never mind that the two countries are partners generating over US$200 million in annual trade earnings; members of the East African Community, of which Kagame is the current chairman; the two countries are members of the Commonwealth; Kagame recklessly closed the border. Predictably, Rwandans and Ugandans living on the common border continued to cross the border which remains porous. The local border communities are therefore still likely to cross into the neighbouring country without going through a formal border crossing. Rwandans and Ugandans cross the porous border for all sorts of reasons, most of all for basic survival via informal trade that has thrived for centuries.
Kagame’s Security Personnel Has Killed Several People At The Border, Including Two Recent Murder of Ugandans
On November 11, 2019, two Ugandans were shot dead by Rwandan security at the border allegedly for smuggling tobacco. Uganda has protested the murder in the following terms:
“The government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the murder of its nationals by Rwanda security personnel for allegedly being involved in smuggling of goods across the common border. The alleged crime cannot justify the high handed and the criminal act of the Rwandan security against unarmed civilians residing along the common border. Furthermore…these murders are inimical to the ongoing efforts to improve relations between the two countries.”
Uganda government has now demanded “a joint investigation in the murder of be conducted and the perpetrators be held accountable.”
Will Kagame agree to this? Will Kagame allow a joint investigation in the murder of the Ugandans? Will the perpetrators be held accountable? Stay tuned.