Rwanda and Burundi formerly had good neighborliness and relations. That cordiality faded when Burundi started accusing Rwanda of supporting Burundi renegades following political tensions that blew into mass violence and left many Burundians fleeing to neighboring countries. The violence sprang from president Pierre Nkurunziza announcement of his bid to run for another term which he went on to win last year in May.
In a press briefing held yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo talked on Rwanda-Burundi relations where she appreciated that violence has been reduced in Burundi though political problems persist.
“As far as I am concerned, political chaos seems to have been reduces in Burundi but some issues not really solved,” she said.
“As Rwanda, we preferred to keep quiet. We were saddened by the situation but it was the right way to prevent the matter from becoming more intense,” she added.
Mushikiwabo explained that no country can interfere is such problems since Burundi is a sovereign country taking own decisions. She added that closing borders is what saddens since Burundians are deprived of rights to trade with Rwanda.
“What saddens is that cross border trade was banned. It is sad that poor citizens on the other side of the border can’t cross to sell what they have. On the other hand, we can’t do much about it since it is not our country,” she said.
Minister Mushikiwabo explained that Rwanda is ready to restore good relations with Burundi.
“Burundians are brothers, neighbors. We cannot influence decisions made by leaders but it has great negative consequences to Burundians since our citizens have many opportunities of trading within other countries or find development activities inside the country,” she said.
She said that the rest if for Burundi administration to allow its citizens realize progress doing their business in Rwanda.