March 1, 2019

Cyanika Border: A Money Changer’s Ordeal


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Cyanika border is usually a bustling area, but is quiet since Thursday

On Thursday very early morning, Ndacyayisaba Emmanuel a money changer set off from a villager near the Rwanda-Uganda Cyanika border. It connects Burera district to Kisoro district of Uganda.

In his usual routine, Ndacyayisaba cleared himself on the Rwandan side to begin his daily work of exchanging currencies for travelers. He has both Rwandan Francs and Ugandan shillings.

He crossed the so called ‘no man’s land’ – a small stretch that separates any border. However, on reaching the Ugandan side, he was told to “Go Back to Rwanda” by armed border police.

Since then, Ndacyayisaba and dozens of his colleagues are not able to cross to Uganda – a feat they have been doing for as long as they can remember.

Ndacyayisaba spoke to The Chronicles today morning, telling us he had not worked since yesterday.

“This is the second day and am not working yet my daughter is sick, and my wife is also not feeling well,” he said.

Ndacyayisaba narrated to us what he has witnessed. His colleagues who had crossed to Uganda on Wednesday before the border closure, are stranded on the Uganda side because security is not letting them leave.

No Ugandans are crossing to come to Rwanda because they are not being let through by Ugandan border agents.

On the Rwanda side, no one is also crossing to head to the Uganda side.

The border is in paralysis.

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