Burundi president Evariste Ndayishimiye has expressed his government’s intention to mend relations with the European Union and Rwanda since 2015 after the late former president Pierre Nkurunziza vied for the third term in the office.
Both Rwanda and European Union’s relation with Burundi hit an all-time low in 2015 after protests erupted against the former president’s move to vie for another term in the office.
The EU suspended direct aid to the Burundian government after reports emerged of gross human rights violations by the security forces during the 2015 protests.
“Burundi is open to move forward from what happened in the past when they imposed sanctions on us…so we are ready to move on as long as we have mutual benefits,” said president Evariste Ndayishimiye during a media synergy in Gitega.
“The report about the Human Rights violation is not right because the government is in charge of protecting Human Rights in the country and also serve justice to the victims,” he added.
Burundi president’s comments comes after a report released by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi led by Doudou Diene accused the security forces and the ruling party’s youth wing Imbonerakure of targeting the opposition members, arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances.
Burundi- Rwanda relations
Burundi and Rwanda relation deteriorated since 2015 as Burundi accuses Rwanda of plotting the 2015 failed coup to oust the former late president Pierre Nkurunziza, Gitega accuses Rwanda of sheltering the opposition members who are under arrest warrants.
In return Rwanda accuses Burundi of hosting the FDLR rebels accused by Kigali of committing the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, “we cant pretend to have a friend and share a drink with while you know they can easily put poison in the drink so we want real good neighborliness and not pretending,” said the Burundian president.
Rwanda had earlier on denied being involved in destabilizing Burundi but rather looking towards mending the relations, “we want to live peacefully with our neighbors but Rwanda doesn’t need peace more than its neighbors so we all need it,” said president Paul Kagame earlier this month.
Burundi was hit by a political crisis in 2015 that led to hundreds of people losing their lives and thousands fleeing the country for fear for their lives, currently the voluntary repatriation of Burundians who fled the country in 2015 has gained momentum as Burundians in the refugee camps of Tanzania, Uganda, DRC and Rwanda continued to be repatriated to their homeland.