Rwandan traders in the border region with DR Congo have asked government to help them recover nearly $20,000 from Congolese counterparts.
Traders operating from a major border market in Rubavu district informed visiting Trade and Industry Minister Soraya Hakuziyaremye that when Rwanda closed its border, stopping Congolese from coming due to the COVID-19 back in March, they had taken products from different Rwandan traders.
The practice among traders from both countries has been that the Congolese take products on credit to sell in Goma, and return to pay the Rwandans later. This arrangement had been going on for years.
Rwanda’s land border remains closed since mid March except for cargo tracks. On the Rubavu-Goma border, while cargo trucks flow from Rwanda, with goods from outside Rwanda, as well as water from Rwanda to Goma, nothing much comes from Congo side.
Yvonne Uwera, a border commercial official, said during the tour of the trade minister the goods which the Congolese had taken from Rwandans were worth up to $20,000 (or more than Rwf 19m).
Trade minister Hakuziyaremye told the Rwandan traders to write down list with details of the Congolese who owe them, and the list could be shared with Congolese authorities so that the debts can be paid by concerned traders.