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Projet:Summary of weekly radio talk-show « Emission Club de la Presse: "Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru "

Activité:Talk show ″Urubugarw'itangazamakuru″ (Club de la presse)

Date:31/10/2021

Auteur(s):
  • IPGL
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According to the official figures, before the pandemic, the two entry points between Rubavu district and Goma, Grande Barrière and Petite Barrière, were among the world busiest borders with nearly 50, 000 crossing on a daily basis.

Restricted cross-border movements caused by coronavirus outbreak has left thousands Rubavu district residents without a source of a livelihood. Before the pandemic, most border communities depended on casual work around the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Though the border between Rwanda and DRC is currently open, not everyone is able to move freely between the two borders.

The persistence of illegal trade (including undeclared trade and smuggling of minerals) often triggers a confrontation between authorities and operators. This constitutes an additional source of insecurity which further hinders trade and prospects for economic development in the country.

 Besides the Covid-19 negative test certificate, the travellers have to present the passports or laissez-passer as the only travel documents allowed, which have excluded the small business owners, who need to cross on the daily basis to keep their business moving.

This has affected the livelihoods of people living in sectors bordering the DRC, to the extent some choose to risk their lives to travel to the DRC through illegal routes, some are arrested by Rwandan security forces and others are shot dead.

 

"Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru" (Club de la Presse) of this Sunday 31-10-2021 broadcasted in synergy by twelve radio and two TV stations across the country focused on “Opportunities and challenges for the Rwanda-DRC small-scale cross border trade- Rubavu

Invitees

RUHAMYAMBUGA Olivier /Acting Mayor Rubavu District 

HITAYEZU Deligent /PSF Western Province

NKUNDIMANA Noel /Economic Analyst

RWIBASIRA Jean Bosco/ES Bugeshi sector

The citizens who participated in the debate were residents from BUGESHI, BUSASAMANA and MUDENDE sectors

The leaders on the panel explained that the Rwanda-Congo border in Bugeshi Sector is the most widely used border by Bugeshi, Kamana and Mudende sectors residents near the border but many are using illegal routes to smuggle goods.

This prompted the Rwandan government to decide that a citizen who crosses the border must cross the border at designate times and show Laissez-Passer.

They added that the border crossing conditions have been toughened to prevent the smuggling of cannabis (cannabis, caguwa, alcohol, etc.) and to prevent FDRL fighters from crossing and attacking Rwanda.

Which is why residents have to cross the border legally; and violators be punished by Rwanda security forces as enemies of the country.

The participants in the talk show pointed out that the reason they use illegal routes to the Congo is that the requirements for crossing the border are expensive, so some agree to risk their lives instead of starving.

 They explained that before Covid 19, they were used to crossing the border with an identity card, they are now required to have a Laissez-passer, covid-19 test and most  of them cannot afford it because it is expensive. They also pointed out that when they cross the border to the Congo they are charged for a very expensive residence permit.

Muhimpundu Solange is the mother of 3 children; before Covid, she was used to selling vegetables in the DRC, she is no longer going there because she can't afford the cost of a Laisser passer and a covid test every 3 days."

"Ever since Covid started my life seems to have stopped because I can't go to the DRC to trade as I used to because I can't afford the cost to cross the border and trade capital," She said.

 

The proposal made by the citizens was for the two countries to negotiate so the citizens may again be given the right to cross with their identities as before and the DRC side is required not to harass Rwandans while they are going to do business there.

Regarding the wish of the citizens to cross the border using IDs, local leaders said talks between the two countries had begun and assured them that they are going to speed up and resolve the issues as soon as possible; especially that at present Rwanda and the DRC have a good relationship.

 

 

 

 

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