Business has been on a halt at the Uganda-DR Congo border for over three days following misunderstandings between the Ugandan traders and their counterparts in the neighbouring DR Congo.
The contention stem from the Congolese who blocked Ugandans last week from trading in DR Congo arguing that when Ugandans die in DR Congo, their relatives abandon the dead to the Congolese to bury them.
One of the traders from DR Congo revealed that most Ugandans who had purchased products from DR Congo such as palm oil, sugar, soap and yellow bananas among others have to wait until the authorities make strict and clear rules that will manage the two neighbouring countries on matters concerning care for the deceased that are left in the DR Congo and safety of their goods.
The standoff which started on Friday up to Sunday when Uganda police intervened at the border of Mpondwe- Lhubiriha town council in Kasese Uganda prompted some Ugandan traders to strike in protest by denying their Congolese counterparts access to Uganda and setting fire on the road way.
Ugandans were blocked from entering DR Congo and out of anger, some of them responded by blocking their counterparts from entering Uganda which raised tension on both sides.
Earlier in December 2010, business at the Uganda- DR Congo border post of Mpondwe in Kasese District was paralysed following a strike by Ugandans over the death of one of their colleagues.
Moses Kisembo Kibikwa, a resident of Kambukamabwe village in Mpondwe- Lhubiriha Town Council, was reportedly killed by some Congolese nationals.
The incident drew the attention of the security officials of both countries who met to find lasting solutions to the problems.
Following the death, Ugandans at the border, closed the border as no Congolese was allowed to cross to Uganda. The strike later turned violent and one Congolese child, Musage Kavugo, was injured as he tried to cross back to his country. The strike was later quelled by the police.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations officer for Rwenzori sub region, Ms Lydia Tumushabe advised Ugandans to always inform police before demonstrating so that amicable ways of addressing their grievances can be found in order to allow business operations go on smoothly without disturbing peace in the region.
Ms Tumushabe said, “The security personnel have been deployed at the two borders to prevent any re-occurrence of what happened as both sides discuss security matters.”