//Reopen Katuna border no later than February 21

Reopen Katuna border no later than February 21

Ugandan and Rwandan delegations once again met in Kigali, Rwanda, on Friday. They issued a joint communique at the end of the meeting.

The communique, signed by Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa on behalf of Uganda and Mr Olivier Nduhungirehe on behalf of Rwanda, shows that there is more work still to be done, in particular in regard to verifying foreign nationals arrested by either country and ensuring that none of the countries destabilises the other.

The meeting was meant to prepare for an engagement between President Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame slated for February 21 at the closed Katuna/Gatuna common border.

The border has remained closed to goods from Uganda for almost a year, since the end of February 2019.
The livelihoods of people living by the borderline, who before this incident freely mingled and traded among themselves, have been gravely disrupted. Some have lost their lives, with Rwandan security personnel shooting dead some Ugandans and Rwandans found moving small volumes of merchandise across the border to Rwanda.

Bigger players, including those who trade between the two countries and or beyond, have suffered grave losses too. Transporters and those who have accommodation that is mainly utilised by cross border traders between the two countries are also leaking their wounds following a year of an enforced nosedive in business. Those who had taken loans might have suffered the worst.

In short, counting the costs of the border fallout that has played out over the past year would be a difficult task. What is clear is that the cost is huge and the victims diverse. It is difficult to point out any winners in this fallout.