By: Dr David Himbara
General Paul Kagame’s regime has suddenly announced that the Rwanda-Uganda border will open on January 31, 2022. Kagame closed the border in March 2019.
The closure destroyed robust informal and formal trade – the later totalling about US$300 million a year.
The process of opening the border began with the visit by Uganda’s General Muhoozi Kainerugaba who announced after his talks with Kagame that they held in-depth discussions about how to improve Uganda-Rwanda bilateral relations. Now, the border will shortly open.
How did the Ugandans tame Kagame so fast? The answer lies in DRC. Once the Yoweri Museveni government formed economic and military alliances with DRC, with the rest of the East African Community fully endorsing the effort, Kagame was finished.
Kainerugaba’s visit to Rwanda was to give Kagame a face-saving mechanism to tow the line or face total isolation from the region and beyond.
Thousands upon thousands of Rwandans and Ugandans who lost their livelihoods by the insane border closure 3 years ago are most thankful of this development.