Rwandan Gov’t Imposes Trade Embargo On Its Goods Exported To Uganda – Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa

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The minister of Foreign affairs, Sam Kutesa has said Uganda remains committed to free movement of goods and people at the border with Rwanda.

 Giving details of how many trucks have been cleared, he says the flow of traffic between Rwanda and Uganda has continued normally on the Ugandan side. However, the minister says Rwanda has instituted non-tariff barriers and restrictions on the goods coming from Uganda, which he described as a trade embargo on Uganda goods.

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Full statement below

Uganda wishes to refute allegations that it closed its border with Rwanda. Since 28 February 2019 when the Government of Rwanda issued an advisory against travel of its nationals to Uganda, flow of traffic from Uganda to Rwanda has been continuing normally, as detailed below:

Cyanika border post: 41 transactions have been processed; Katuna border post: 85 transactions have been processed. However, this is only for light vehicles that were being allowed to cross over; and Mirama hills border post: 311 transactions have been processed. What is happening on the ground, however is that export of Ugandan goods to Rwanda have been prohibited by Rwanda authorities.

The same authorities are only allowing crossing into Rwanda those trucks carrying transit goods destined for Rwanda or transiting through Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo and other places. Goods from Rwanda and Rwanda registered trucks are not being allowed to cross over from Rwanda into Uganda by the Rwanda authorities.

"Coronavirus is spread through sneezing, coughing or contact with contaminated surfaces. To avoid the disease, wash your hands with soap regularly, don’t spit in public, avoid crowds and stay home if you have flu. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Let’s fight Corona together. This message is from the Ministry of Health"

Rwanda has introduced an export permit system for those that intend to export goods to Uganda. This is a technical and non-tariff barrier to trade, to which there has been no successful applicant. In effect, this is a trade embargo on bilateral trade with Uganda. The Uganda border posts continue to operate normally. 

Government is not restricting any movement of goods and people from Uganda into Rwanda. However, there have been and remain restrictions on the movement of goods and people from Rwanda destined to Uganda Consistent with its obligations under regional and continental frameworks, Uganda remains committed to ensuring the free movement of persons and goods across borders.

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