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Rwandan PM in Burundi as relations on the mend

Relations between Kigali and Bujumbura appear to be on the mend as Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngiente, on Thursday arrived…

Relations between Kigali and Bujumbura appear to be on the mend as Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngiente, on Thursday arrived in Burundi to attend the 59th Independence Day celebrations.Rwanda and Burundi are celebrating almost six decades of independence gained on July 1, 1960 from Belgium.

However  in Rwanda, the Independence Day celebrations are combined with the country’s Liberation Day on July 4 which marks the day that the genocide against the Tutsi ended.

The visit by a Rwandan senior government official in Burundi is widely viewed as part  of the efforts to mend the icy relations between the two countries.

The recent political crisis that erupted in Burundi over the third term of the late President Pierre Nkurunziza has negatively affected relations between Kigali and Bujumbura.

Since April 2015, Rwanda has received more than 70,000 Burundian refugees. 

Among the refugees, there are politicians who are opposing the current regime, fighting against the recently contested election of President Nkurunziza.  

Burundi has been accusing neighbouring Rwanda of facilitating and training rebels seeking to destabilise the country.

Rwanda has categorically denied the accusations.

Officials in Rwanda claim that this is a strategy by Burundi to divert attention from the internal political unrest.

However, with the recent election of a new President in Burundi last year, an opportunity has opened up to turn over a new page in relations between the two neighbours.

Reacting to the new leadership change, President Paul Kagame said he is ready to work with President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi to address issues between them. 

 

 

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