Uganda accuses neighbouring Rwanda of imposing trade embargo

Thursday 14th March, 2019
Sam Kutesa

KAMPALA, March 14, (Xinhua/GNA) - Uganda has accused the neighbouring country Rwanda of imposing an embargo on bilateral trade with Uganda.

In a statement on Wednesday, Uganda's Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa said that export of Ugandan goods to Rwanda have been prohibited by Rwanda authorities, who are only allowing in trucks carrying transit goods destined for Rwanda or transiting through Rwanda to Democratic Republic of Congo and other places.

Kutesa said goods from Rwanda and Rwandan registered trucks are also not being allowed to cross over from Rwanda into Uganda by the Rwanda authorities.

He said Rwanda has also introduced an export permit system for those who intend to export into 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," Kutesa said.

The signed statement by the minister was released to the media by Ofwono Opondo, executive director of the Uganda Media Centre on twitter.

In the statement, Kutesa also refuted reports that Uganda closed its border with Rwanda, noting that traffic flow from Uganda to Rwanda has been continuing normally.

He said Uganda is committed to ensuring free movement of persons and goods across borders.

In recent days, Uganda and Rwanda have had a frosty relation with the latter closing its borders. Rwanda accused Uganda of harbouring its dissidents, an allegation Uganda denied.

Also in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, Rwanda's Minister of State Olivier Nduhungirehe said that Rwanda did not close her border with Uganda.