Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye says his country is now safe and that its citizens have agreed on setting aside tribal differences. President Ndayishimye made the statement in Kigoma, Northwestern Tanzania during his first
state visit outside his country since taking office in June 2020.

Tanzania is host to nearly 200 000 Burundian refugees.

Ndayishimiye’s message to Burundian refugees still living in Tanzania is that the country is now peaceful.

“We do not have two tribes anymore. We realised that it was foreigners that divided us. Burundians are simply Burundians and we speak Kirundi and our country is Burundi and that is why we are united. We will not return to the chaos of the past.”

In August 2019, the two countries agreed to repatriate the remaining Burundian refugees in Tanzania. The exercise was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lead-up to Burundi’s national elections in May.

Trade between the two countries has doubled to almost $87 million between 2016 and 2020.

Tanzania’s President Dr John Magufuli is looking to increase this number further.

“As you know Air Tanzania is now making trips from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma, to Bujumbura. We now want another connection, a railway that will carry goods as well as Nickel from Burundi.”

The two presidents hope that increased trade between their countries will further strengthen relations and bring peace and prosperity to their people.

Nearly 200 000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania to return home: