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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

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Rwanda and Uganda to move forward on boundary demarcation

(20 April 2010)

Rwanda and Uganda have committed to pressing ahead with demarcation of their boundary. A recent report indicates that the Rwandan government has allocated some 700 million Rwandan francs (just over $1.2 million USD) for the project that has been partially encouraged by the African Union Border Programme iniative. Rwanda's Director General of Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation, Joseph Kabakeza, was quoted as saying that joint technical teams have already been active surveying the boundary and identifying any existing boundary marks. A joint technical committee has agreed a budget for the full demarcation exercise that will re-establish older boundary marks from the colonial period that may have fallen into disrepair. It is likely that additional marks will be added to make the boundary more visible on the ground. Alongside this technical exercise will be a joint sensitisation programme to educate local borderland populations about the administrative benefits of clear boundary demarcation. In the reported interview, Kabakeza was keen to stress that there were no contentious boundary issues between Rwanda and Uganda. 

Through its Border Programme instituted in 2007, the African Union is encouraging all African states to clearly delimit and demarcate their boundaries by 2010. The Rwanda-Uganda boundary is approximately 169 kilometers in length, following a series of overland sections, rivers and streams. It was first marked on the ground by an Anglo-German boundary commission in 1910-11 with 38 main pillars. The western section of the boundary traverses the famed extinct volcanoes of Mounts Sabinio, Mgahinga and Muhabura in the Virunga mountains. The boundary lies between the renowned wildlife areas including Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and Uganda's Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, as well as the Virunga National Park in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Source: 'Rwanda to spend 700m francs to demarcate border with Uganda' The New Times, Kigali, 20 April 2010.