Vehicles Diverted as Tension Heightens at Uganda-DR Congo Border Top story

2540 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
On Monday morning, hundreds of vehicles were parked at Ondia - Nyadri trading center awaiting the reopening of the post. Another 200 transit vehicles are stuck at DRC side waiting to cross to Uganda, a development which has affected business along the border.

Over 300 vehicles have been directed to use Goli customs border point as they cross into Democratic Republic of Congo following weeks of tension at Vurra border point.

Kaleb Kamara, a Customs Officer at Vurra border point told URN that traffic flow has been diverted to Goli border point, a distance of 73.8 kilometers away.

The border post at Vurra was closed after the forceful eviction of DR Congo nationals by Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) early this month. The nationals had captured and occupied Ugandan land along the border claiming that it was no man's land which belonged to them.

The group which was armed with arrows, bows, machetes and hoes, had cleared the land and were using it as a parking yard for transit vehicles.  DR Congo soldiers withdrew and closed the border point in protest of the eviction.

By this morning, hundreds of vehicles were parked at Ondia-Nyadri trading center awaiting the reopening of the post. Another 200 transit vehicles are stuck on DR Congo side waiting to cross to Uganda, a development which has affected business along the border.

Kamara says the DR Congo authorities have failed to heed to conditions set by Uganda to reopen the border point. He adds that if the situation persists, all transit routes to DR Congo will be closed.
 
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Meanwhile, Kamara says, they have deployed UPDF to control the porous routes along the border in order to capture people who are crossing with smuggled goods.

One of the affected transporters identified as Hajji Kisambira says the developments at the border has led to countless losses for transporters and traders alike.  
 
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Ali Musa, the Chairman of Trans East Transporters Company told URN that the DR Congo nationals have plucked number plates off their vehicles while others have stolen car batteries plus mattresses.
 
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Sources from DR Congo have revealed that in the two weeks period that the border remains closed, prices of goods have shot up in DR Congo with one kilogram of sugar selling at 5000 Ugandan Shillings up from 3,500.