Burundi-Rwanda moves to mend relations

Rwandan and Burundian police greeting each other at Ruhwa border between Burundi and Rwanda on February 2018.

Burundi and Rwanda have this Tuesday made a major step towards mending the soar relations between the two countries after the two ministers of foreign affairs met at Nemba-Gasenyi border between the two countries.

Rwanda’s Vincent Biruta and Burundi’s Albert Shingiro met at the border to discuss outstanding issues in effort to mend the relation between the two countries that continued to deteriorate since 2015.

“The meeting was to share and evaluate the state of the bilateral relations between the two countries,” a joint communique read.

Burundi and Rwanda relation deteriorated since 2015 after late former president Pierre Nkurunziza vied for another term in the office, the move sparked protests in Bujumbura which led to hundreds of people Losing their lives.
Burundi accused Rwanda of masterminding the 2015 failed coup to oust late Nkurunziza’s government.

Rwanda in return accused Burundi of sheltering the FDLR rebels accused by Kigali of committing the 1995 genocide.
“Albert Shingiro Burundi foreign affairs minister invited his counterpart Rwanda’s foreign affairs minister to reciprocate and visit Burundi and the invitation was accepted,” a statement reads from the joint communique between the two country’s ministers.

Earlier this year Burundi president Evariste Ndayishimiye accused neighboring Rwanda of holding Burundian refugees hostage, calling on Kigali to extradite some opposition members who had seek refuge in Rwanda as Gitega accuses the latter of plotting the 2015 failed coup to oust late Pierre Nkurunziza’s government.

In August 26th, 2020 a meeting was conducted between Burundi and Rwanda military intelligence officials in efforts to normalize the relations between the two countries.
For the past four years border communities between the two countries witnessed armed attacks and counter attacks, leading to dozens of citizens losing their lives from both sides.

Last month Kigali declared to have caught 19 armed men believed to be members of Red Tabara a rebel group that is fighting against the regime in Gitega.
Burundi government had called on Kigali to handover the armed men to Burundian security forces after the armed group carried out an attack in Burundi and later fled to Rwanda.

Last month Burundi’s president Evariste Ndayishimye said that his government was ready to mend its relations with other countries and move forward towards development and leave the past.

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