The Rwandan government has increased tariffs levied on imports from Uganda, officials said Sunday, marking an escalation in the tense relations between the two neighbours.
Rwanda a few days ago closed Katuna border, saying it was carrying out construction works to expedite the clears of goods at the One Stop Border Post.
Kigali advised truck drivers to use Cyanika which is located more than 100 kilometres away from Katuna.
Uganda Media Centre today said the Rwandan government has increased tariffs at Cyanika Border point.
“To clear a truck, they have doubled the price from 200,000 Rwanda Francs to 400,000 Francs (approximately Shs 1.6m)” said the media centre.
The tariff on a truck of maize has been increased from Rwandan Francs 150,000 to Rwanda Francs 300,000 (Shs 12m).
Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Richard Sezibera said other border points remain open.
However, the Uganda Media Centre says “Ugandan registered cargo truck units are being kept at bay at the Rwandan border parking yard (four days now).”
Additionally, said the media centre, Rwandan nationals are being denied access into Uganda by their government.
“Some will not be able to attend school (for pupils and students) or even purchase food stuffs,” it said.
Over 130 cargo trucks remain stuck at Katuna boarder point; despite 52 having their papers processed by the URA Customs for entry to Rwanda.
“The cargo trucks have been halted from crossing over to the Rwandan side,” said the media centre.
Ugandan drivers carrying perishable goods have since expressed fear they may lose millions of shillings as the disguised blockade continues.
ChimpReports understands Rwanda is technically keeping away Ugandan exports to exert pressure on Kampala to free dozens of Rwandans arrested in Uganda.
Rwanda’s State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Olivier Nduhungirehe said several Rwandans have been harassed and tortured in Uganda. He also released a list of the alleged victims on Twitter.
In response, Opondo said, “Some names listed are properly before courts of law, some hold refugee status and cards although have been frequently in Rwanda thus raising suspicion.”
Opondo said other persons listed by Nduhungirehe entered Uganda as citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo “seeking asylum and some are Ugandan citizens with passports.”
The tense relations between Uganda and Rwanda threaten the future of the East African Community (EAC).