The women traders are seeking compensation for their losses since both parties are unwilling to settle the border disputes
When men have failed, women have stood up to the situation.
The women traders operating along the Uganda and Rwanda borders have sued their governments for the continued border disputes.
According to them, they want their government to compensate them for their losses since they have continued to play politics with the situation.
You will recall that trading operating between Uganda and Rwanda activities have been crippled since the borders were closed in February.
Despite the calls for both governments to resolve the matter amicably and end the suffering of millions of people who depend on that border, President Paul Kagame and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have continued to play politics and engaged in a useless show of power.
Well, the women have had enough and will no longer wait on their male counterparts to take action. They have dragged both presidents before the courts and are seeking compensations for their losses.
The governments of both countries will be foolish to take the petition by the women lightly because women can start a revolution if pushed to the wall.
The Women's War or Aba Women's Riots carried out by Nigerian women against Warrant Chiefs installed by colonial masters in 1929 is an example of how far African women can go to revolt. It will be in the best interest of both governments to yield to the demands of the women before things get out of hand.
The suit was filed in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Arusha, Tanzania on June 21 by a consortium of three civil society organizations (CSOs) on behalf of about 600 affected women traders.
The CSOs are East African Sub-Regional Initiative for Advancement of Women (EASSI), Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) and Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROTH).
The traders are demanding the immediate opening of the border. They stressed that the reasons behind the closure of the border are not trade-related, as the governments have made people believe.
“Applicants respectively request court, pursuant of Articles 27 (1), 30 (1) and 38 of the (EAC) Treaty to declare that the act of closing border posts and denying the accessibility of traders and citizens from either state infringed the East African Treaty and violated the provisions of the Treaty and Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community Common Market,” the suit reads in part.
They are also asking the regional court to order a permanent injunction against both countries never to close their border posts and to violate the economic rights of women.
They also want an order for an economic and social audit to ascertain the extent of damage to the women and compensate them accordingly.
Header Image Credit: African Development Bank
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