Burundi President Ndayishimiye receives delegation from Kigali

By MOSES HAVYARIMANA

Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye on Tuesday received a delegation from Rwanda in Gitega as part of the normalisation of the relations between the two countries.

“The President of the Republic Evariste Ndayishimiye has just received in audience a high delegation led by Major General Albert Murasira, Rwanda’s Minister of Defence, who brought a message from President Paul Kagame,” Burundi State House tweeted.

This is the second time in less than a year that Kigali has sent a delegation to Gitega in efforts to normalise the two countries’ relation that deteriorated since 2015.

In July last year, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente visited Bujumbura for the Independence Day celebration – the first time a high profile official from Rwanda travelled to Burundi since the political crisis in 2015.

Last year, Gitega said that positive steps were taken towards strengthening peace and security in the region as Burundi made efforts to help Rwanda when terrorists who were preparing to attack Kigali were arrested and handed over to Rwandese authorities.

Rwanda reciprocated in July last year with Kigali handing over to Gitega 19 armed men suspected of coordinating an attack in Burundi and fleeing to the neighbouring country.

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Since Ndayishimiye took over the office in 2020, relations between the two countries have improved significantly with both sending delegations to hold discussions.

Burundi is yet to open up its land border with Rwanda since 2015 that resulted in the banning of export of fruits and vegetables to Kigali.

However, air transport remained opened with passengers from both countries travelling with ease.

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