Trade resumes as Bunagana reopens

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Closed shops in Bunagana Town. There has not been much business after

Closed shops in Bunagana Town. There has not been much business after the route used by traders to access Goma Town in Eastern DR Congo was closed last year. Photo by Robert Muhereza 


Posted  Friday, December 6  2013 at  02:00

Kisoro- Bunagana- One of the official entry points linking Uganda and DR Congo, has been reopened to resume trade in the area between the two countries.

The route, which was opened on Wednesday, was closed in November last year by the Ugandan government following allegations that it was aiding M23 rebels who had taken control of Eastern DR Congo.

The Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, Hajj Ahamed Mustafa Doka and the governor of North Kivu Province, Mr Lutakirwa Mulwahake Seller led the reopening process.

“The Uganda-Congo border is now open. We started with removing padlocks from the DR Congo border side then on the Ugandan side. Our usual cross border trade must resume immediately,” Mr Doka said.

The development is good news for traders who hope as the Christmas festive season approaches.

Mr Nathan Mawazi, a truck driver, said they have been spending a lot to access their main market in Goma, DR Congo through Chanika, the Ugandan border with Rwanda.

The LC5 chairperson of Kisoro, Mr Milton Bazanye, said reopening of Bunagana would boost district revenue. He said they used to collect Shs1 million daily from Bunagagna market.

Early last month Congolese government forces assisted by South African troops defeated M23 rebels who had been in the control of large parts of Eastern DR Congo for more than a year.

The rebels are now in peace talks with President Joseph Kabila’s government.