Uganda, Congo border dispute persists as officials fail to resolve it

A meeting convened between Ugandan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officials to resolve the Vurra border post dispute has failed to yield results.

Officials from both countries met this week, but the Congolese officials asked for more time to consult with the local communities and their superiors in Kinshasa over the disputed land.

The meetings came after hundreds of DRC youths armed with sticks, arrows, bows and spears forcefully occupied about 2 acres of land inside Uganda on June 8th saying it is their ancestral land.

This prompted DRC customs officials to extend the barriers of their border close to the Vurra customs on the Ugandan side.

Peter Dibele, the Arua Resident District who led the Ugandan delegation told this website that their DRC counterparts said they can’t make a decision without receiving communication from Kinshasa.

The Ngurudoto agreement was signed by presidents from both countries in 2007. It provides for the peaceful resolution of conflicts between sister countries.

Dibele says he is unhappy to see tension erupting and vehicles parked along the border when Congolese nationals are starving without food because trucks can’t cross to either side of the border.

Nicolas Aninga, assistant administrator of Ar’u territory who led the Congolese team says they came to get the position of Uganda but can’t decide without consulting their bosses in Kinshasa.

He however, says there is need for people from the two countries to live in harmony since they are related.

Kaleb Kamara, the Vurra customs officer says when they met the governor of oriental province they asked DRC to open the barriers erected on the Ugandan side for business to resume while negotiations continue to harmonize other issues.

According to Kamara, Uganda has lost a lot of money because of the closure of the border point. According to Kamara, on a normal working day Vurra Customs clears between 50 to 70 transits compared to other customs like Goli and Lia which have less clearance.