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This Week in the Great Lakes: Rwanda is obstructing the trade of ... something

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Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor/File

(Read caption) Africa's Great Lakes region: Bukavu is the capital of the Sud-Kivu province, and is located on the south-eastern section of Lake Kivu, shown in this file photo.

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Rwanda is accused of obstructing trade in electro-welded black tubes from Uganda. No word on what those are. Police intercept a car carrying 2.3 million Rwandan francs (nearly $4,000) worth of Hotel Waragi. That one's easier: It's an illegal and “lethal” Ugandan home brew, classified by Rwanda as an illicit drug.

After tapping methane in Lake Kivu, the country gets into the biodiesel game, urging residents to cede arable land to the jatropha tree. “Every family should grow at least 100 trees on his plots, mixed with other crops,” one mayor insists. The climate event La Nina is expected to leave food shortages around the region, after likely flooding in Uganda and drought in parts of Rwanda and Burundi over the next six months.

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