Disruption to cross-border movement at the border post in Gatuna (Northern province) continues as of Monday, March 11. The alleged partial border closure at Gatuna has reportedly prevented the movement of individuals and goods, and has impacted commerce on either side of the border. Cargo headed for the capital Kigali are being diverted to Mirama Hills (Eastern province), some 121 km (75 mi) northeast of Gatuna, while cargo destined for Goma (Democratic Republic of the Congo) are being diverted to Cyanika (Northern province), roughly 98 km (61 mi) west of Gatuna. Disruptions to transportation are expected to continue in the near-term.
Gatuna border crossing is one of the busiest transit routes in the region. Disruption at Gatuna comes amidst heightened political tensions between Rwanda and Uganda. Rwandan authorities claim the border is still open; however, movement through the crossing point has been hampered since February 28. The Rwanda Revenue Authority initially issued a statement explaining that the transportation disruption at Gatuna border crossing was due to construction on its side of the one-stop border post; however, government officials subsequently accused Ugandan authorities of arresting, torturing, and harassing Rwandan nationals and advised its citizens not to cross over.
Individuals in Gatuna are advised to monitor the situation, prepare for longer wait times at the border crossing, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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