This concern was voiced during a dedicated mass for peace in the Great Lakes region, held at Ruhengeri Cathedral on January 25, 2024.
Within the mass, Bishop Harolimana, along with counterparts from Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo—members of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC)—shared their concerns and criticisms of the decision made by the Burundian government. They jointly called for active efforts from both countries to pursue peace and reconciliation among their people.
Bishop Harolimana, currently serving as the Vice President of ACEAC, stressed the importance of leaders fostering connections between people and advocated for bridges instead of walls that divide nations.
Reflecting on the recent border closure, he remarked, "The decision to close the land border between Rwanda and Burundi has deeply saddened us and raised concerns as we contemplate the well-being of our citizens, especially those residing near the borders."
In a unified effort, the bishops of the Great Lakes region are scheduled to convene in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, on January 28, 2024, for a mass dedicated to praying for peace in the country and the broader region.
This collective initiative underscores their commitment to seeking peaceful resolutions and promoting harmony among the nations in the Great Lakes region.