All eyes are on Gatuna Border that connects Rwanda to Uganda and has historical lifeline significance for the two countries. Ugandans and Rwandans across the border all look forward to normalised relations.

The anticipation is the final decision that will be announced when Presidents Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni, Felix Tshisekedi and their host Joao Lourenco meet in the Angolan capital Luanda.

According to a press release from the Angolan presidency, the forthcoming meeting will be the second quadripartite summit held in a span of only two months.

The four heads of state are set to meet on August 21st witness the signing of the instruments that enshrine the understandings reached.

At the last meeting, Rwanda and Uganda reached understanding to resolve tensions that have erupted between their two countries in recent months, after contacts undertaken by Angola with the DR Congo’s assistance.

The Angola foreign minister has in the past week visited Kigali and Kampala to seal the deal.

The statement after the meeting said, “the summit welcomed the political will of (Rwanda and Uganda) to continue dialogue with a view to finding a solution to existing problems.”

The August 21st event is a follow up of the July 12th summit also held in Angola’s Luanda which brought together the heads of state of the four countries.

The July meeting convened by the Angolan president was devoted to regional security, cooperation and strengthening of ties among the four countries.

Prolonged Tension

Rwanda’s Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, once close allies, have exchanged public accusations of spying on each other’s territory and political interference.

Trade has been severely disrupted since late February when Rwanda abruptly closed the border with its northern neighbor, severing a major economic land route.

Apart from a brief interlude in June the frontier has mainly remained shut, damaging the economies of both countries reliant on cross-border trade.

In May, Ugandan police accused Rwandan soldiers of entering the country and killing two men, drawing an angry denial from Rwanda.

 Threatened trade

The trade between two countries have been stifling since the beginning of this year for all the Rwandans and Ugandans in both their countries. However, due to the various attempts to mend the broken ties, traders have remained hopeful in the process.

Prices of goods in both countries have soared since March after the government imposed travel restrictions on its borders with Uganda, affecting delivery of key imported commodities.

The delay of the opening of the border has been reported as a means of the construction purposes at the border post on the Rwandan side. For the businessmen it has affected their businesses.

The government diverted trucks at the Uganda-Kagitumba border, causing traders to contend with delays and extra transport costs that will affect consumers.

However, the government downplayed the effects of the Uganda-Rwanda border impasse on trade and costs of commodities in general.

The Express News

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