He was speaking to members of the press on 22nd July 2022 after presenting achievements of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the fiscal year 2021/2022.
Commenting on spoiled relations between Rwanda and Burundi for seven years, Amb. Shingiro said that the only unsettled issue is the undecided deportation of suspects behind who attempted to overthrow Burundi’s leadership in 2015.
“That is the only remaining issue. Other problems have been solved,” he said.
According to Iwacu media house from Burundi, Minister Shingiro expressed hope that Rwanda will agree to hand over these individuals to Burundi.
“No country can allow cooperation with another, particularly a neighbouring one, to be spoilt by a group of gangs with no promising future in politics,” he said.
Once suspected individuals are deported and face justice, Minister Shingiro revealed that they might even receive the presidential prerogative of mercy.
“Once they are brought before Burundi’s justice, they can start serving their sentence but we cannot ignore that they might benefit from different resolutions including the presidential prerogative of mercy,” he noted.
When asked whether the international norm for protection of refugees might not be a barrier for the deportation, Minister Shingiro explained that there is no international law protecting individuals behind coup plots or other criminals.
The official said that they are special refugees and advised suspects to report themselves to face justice instead of staying in the refuge.
Despite the pending issue, Shingiro highlighted that efforts to mend relations with Rwanda are on good progress.
The Government of Rwanda and Burundi recently held discussions on the issue of suspected coup plot suspects who attempted to overthrow the then President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015.
Discussions took place on 25th February 2022. They brought together Rwanda’s Minister of Justice and State Attorney General, Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja and his counterpart of Burundi, Domine Banyankimbona and other officials.
Minister Ugireshebuja said that shared interests between Rwanda and Burundi exceed differences. He added that discussions held at different times would pave the way for a brighter future for citizens’ interests.