23 April 2008

Rwanda: Uganda Scraps Temporary Movement Permits to Country

Kigali — Temporary movement documents which were being used by travellers from Uganda to Rwanda have been scrapped, The New Times has learnt. The decision was reached last week in a meeting between the Ugandan Ambassador to Rwanda Richard Kabonero and Kigali immigration officials.

"Only people living in areas alongside the boarder points will be allowed to use such documents but not those travelling direct to Kigali," Kabonero said.

Sources from around the Gatuna boarder post say that people have been abusing temporary documents and using them to travel from as far as Kampala to Kigali while claiming that they were travelling to nearby places.

"It will be easy to identify the people living alongside the boarder because they will be required to produce documents that identify them from their local authorities," Kabonero said.

Passengers travelling from Uganda will be required to posses either a Ugandan passport, a Certificate of Identity (valid for one year), or an East African passport.

"We are communicating to travel companies about the new changes though it will take time to sensitize travellers," he added.

The Ambassador went on to say that they were encouraging people to posses the East African Community passport which allows them to stay in the country for as long as six months.

"We encourage people to posses the East African passport because it is cheap and only costs Frw5000, equivalent to $10 yet it will give you a longer stay in the country," he explained.

Currently, a Ugandan passport costs Ugandan Shilling 52, 000 (about Frw18, 000) and is valid for ten years while a Certificate of Identity (an equivalent of Rwanda's Laissez Passer) costs Ug Shs30, 000 (about Frw10, 000).

A Rwanda-Uganda governance and border security meeting was held in Kigali on March 23, 2007, at Hôtel des Mille Collines, but failed to resolve the issue of Temporary Movement Permits (TMP).

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