November 3, 2020

Rwanda, DRC Partially Open Border After Seven Months

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This is how the border looked like before the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the site is nearly deserted

Provincial officials from western Rwanda and eastern DR Congo have agreed to partially open the Rubavu-Goma border – but the restrictions still remain in place.

Rwanda’s western province governor Alphonse Munyentwari was across in Goma on Monday where he held discussions with North Kivu provincial counterpart Carly Nzanzu.

According to both sides, the border remains closed, except for cargo, after Rwanda shut it in mid March to control spread of the COVID-19 virus.

However, there will be specific aspects to be relaxed; people with Laissez-Passer and passports will be allowed to go through; as well as students and teachers working on either side will also be let through.

Before the pandemic, the Rubavu-Goma border had the second biggest traffic globally after the US-Mezico border, with over 80,000 people crossing daily. Many were informal traders from either side.

A sizable number were Congolese and Rwandans living in Rwanda, but working in various sectors of Goma’s economy.

The other land border remains closed, but people returning to Rwanda are allowed in. They have to have a negative covid-19 test result and will spend some time in quarantine before they are let to go home.

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