Rwanda’s minister of defense Major General Albert Murasira was received by Burundi’s president Evariste Ndayishimiye in the country’s capital Gitega as part of the ongoing process to normalize the relations between Kigali and Gitega.
The relation between the two countries had hit an all-time low in 2015 when protests against the former president Pierre Nkurunziza erupted that led to hundreds of thousands fleeing to the neighboring countries.
“The Rwanda defense minister was received by Burundi president and brought a message from Rwanda’s president to his counterpart of Burundi,” said Evelyne Butoyi the spokesperson of Burundi president.
Early this year high level delegation led by Burundi’s minister for East African Community Affairs Ezechiel Nibigira was received by Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame in Urugwiro (Rwanda State House).
Rwanda and Burundi had shared the same history for decades since the colonial era, the relation between the two countries came at an all-time low in 2015 when the political crisis erupted in Bujumbura.
Burundi accused Rwanda of having played a role in the May 2015 failed coup d’état to oust president Pierre Nkurunziza, while Rwanda in return accused Burundi of sheltering the FDLR rebels accused by Kigali of committing the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The two countries experienced a sour relation for the last 7 years with Burundi closing its borders with Rwanda and banning the exportation of fruits and vegetables to Kigali since 2016.
In July last year Rwanda’s Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente visited Bujumbura for the Independence Day celebration, this was the first time a high profile official from Rwanda travelled to Bujumbura since the political crisis erupted back in 2015.