The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
– Pablo Casals
The present border dispute between Uganda and Rwanda is not only a disgrace to the East African region but the continent in general. This is because it has exposed how torn apart we really are as a people.
It is surprising that two African countries can continue to have a border crisis forgetting the fact that Africa needs no borders in the first place. The creation of borders was masterminded by the colonial slave traders to enable easy penetration of the continent and enable them to conquer the ‘new’ countries one at a time.
The re-enforced border crisis entered its third week today and neither the Rwandan government nor its Ugandan counterpart has shown any interest in resolving the issue. What each of them has done however is to increase custom, immigration and military presence at their own side of the border.
“We are waiting to see how they will react. We thought the Uganda government would be more interested in resolving this matter soon,” a top Rwandan immigration official was quoted as saying in a report by The East African.
This is a clear indication that both parties are just folding their hands to see what the other government will do. How long will these countries continue to see each other as the enemy while they turn a blind eye to the real enemy!
Many believed that the meeting by Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta with both President Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame on March 11 will be the beginning of the end to the crisis; but till now, nothing has been done.
“President Yoweri Museveni and his counterpart President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya have today held a bilateral meeting at State House in Entebbe.
President Uhuru was in Uganda for a brief working visit. The two leaders discussed various local and regional issues,” a statement from State House read.
You will recall that the border crisis took a new twist on February 28 when Kigali unilaterally blocked all cargo traffic bound for Kigali at Katuna border post, ostensibly to allow the country to complete construction of the post.
This prompted Rwanda to issue an advisory against travel of its nationals to Uganda, saying it was to ensure the security and safety of Rwandans.
In reaction to the situation which is becoming a disgrace to the region, the East African Community Secretariat has sent a team to Rwanda and Uganda to investigate the cause of the current hostility between the two countries.
“Our experts are in Rwanda and Uganda on a fact-finding mission, and we will have a report soon. From that report, the EAC will engage the partner states. I cannot give a timeframe, but it will be within the next few days,” the EAC Secretary-General Liberat Mfumukeko was quoted as saying in Nairobi last week by The EastAfrican.