Officials from Uganda and Rwanda are giving fresh impetus to their drive to rekindle ties between Kampala and Kigali which have been strained in the course of the past few years, APA can report on Monday.
Ugandan first son of President Yoweli Kaguta Museveni who is also Commander of Land Forces, Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, on Monday arrived in Rwanda to meet President Kagame as part of current diplomatic efforts to sort out all outstanding issues about normalising relations, an official source confirmed to APA.
This is Kainerugaba’s second visit to Kigali after the previous one in January this year to restore strained relations between the two countries despite diplomatic efforts to resolve their differences.
Strained relations have undermined the free movement of people and led to restrictions on the movement of goods and services from across the border.
Before resuming talks, both countries have initially traded accusations, with Kigali accusing Kampala of supporting armed groups against it, harbouring hostile groups, kidnapping as well as torturing Rwandans in Uganda.
It resulted in the closure of the border.
Uganda too accused Rwanda of trying to impose a trade embargo and espionage.
The Gatuna border crossing between the two countries was reopened in January this year after almost four years of near inactivity but with priority given to cargo trucks and essential travelers from either side due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Earlier last week, the two countries started allowing passengers to cross the border, but most people are complying for the high cost of crossing which has been imposed as each individual is required to pay for the Covid-19 PCR test.
Travellers who want to cross between the two countries are currently required to pay Rwf30,000 ($29) or Ush100,000 ($28) on Rwanda or Uganda side, respectively, for a PCR Covid-19 test.
When added to travel costs, especially for families, travellers claim that the cost is exorbitant. Some have opted to postpone until the requirement is revised, it said.