Burundi President in DR Congo to boost ties

Tuesday July 13 2021
Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye

Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye at the State House in Bujumbura on June 13, 2020. PHOTO | FILE


Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye has made a three-day State visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to strengthen relations between the two neighbours.

Mr Ndayishimiye was received at the Ndijili Airport in Kinshasa on Monday by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde.

He met with President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday for bilateral talks on security and economic ties.

The two leaders are expected to sign agreements on a railway infrastructure project between Burundi’s capital Gitenga and Kindu city in east-central DRC, a line that will also facilitate the transit of products to Uvinza in Tanzania.

The project was part of talks between President Tshisekedi and his host the late president Pierre Nkurunziza when the former visited Burundi during a charm offensive in the East African Community member states soon after he assumed office in January 2019. Nkurunziza died in June 2020.

The visit comes nearly two weeks after the Congolese leader met with Burundian Foreign Affairs minister Albert Shingiro in DRC’s eastern border city of Goma in North Kivu.


On security, the leaders are expected to address rebel activity in eastern DRC as well as issues of refugees with both countries hosting Burundian and Congolese nationals on either side.