People travelling from Uganda with no proper travel documents were denied entry to Rwanda since Thursday when new travel measures were implemented, The New Times has learnt.
Those affected did not have passports or certificates of identity (equivalent to Rwanda’s Laissez Passer) that are required at the immigration offices of both Uganda and Rwanda side and were turned back.
Previously, Ugandans travelling to Rwanda could use temporary travel permits issued at the borders. That practice was discontinued after a meeting of Rwandan and Ugandan immigration officials last month.
During the meeting, it was agreed that only people who live around the border should be allowed to use the temporary movement permits. These permits were being abused by travellers from as far as Kampala yet they were originally meant for the border communities.
However the stranded passengers complained of the inconveniences this has caused and the lack of communication from the transport companies.
One of the affected passengers James Kasibante who was denied access at Gatuna and had to go back to Mbarara to get a certificate of identity told The New Times that they were unaware of the new measures.
“We were not told of the changes by the bus operators and we were surprised when we were denied entry at the border,” Kasibante said.
Passengers travelling to either Uganda and Rwanda are required to posses either a Rwandan passport, Ugandan passport, a Certificate of Identity valid for one year(Laissez Passer ), or an East African passport