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Great Lakes body pledges to mediate Burundi-Rwanda tension

BUJUMBURA Burundi(Xinhua) -- The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has pledged to mediate the tension existing between Burundi and Rwanda, a spokesman of the Burundian president said Wednesday in a statement.

The statement was made in a briefing after a courtesy call of ICGLR new Executive Secretary Zachary Muburi Muita to Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

“The Burundian president told the ICGLR Executive Secretary that Burundian citizens do not have any problems with Rwandan citizens. During their discussions, the Executive Secretary pledged to mediate the conflict between Burundi and Rwanda,” said Jean Claude Karerwa, deputy-spokesman of the Burundian president.

According to Karerwa, Muita pledged to all his best in collaboration with the East African Community (EAC) and the United Nations (UN).

Relations between Burundi and Rwanda are cold since April 2015 when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement.

Rwanda is accused of hosting Burundian citizens who staged a failed coup plot on May 13, 2015 and of providing military training to people who are destabilizing Burundi.

But Rwanda denied all those allegations.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and some 270,000 people fled to neighboring countries since the outbreak of the crisis.

The ICGLR secretariat is based in the Burundian capital Bujumbura. Twelve African Great Lakes countries are members of the ICGLR.

They include Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.



East African military academies meet in Burundi to harmonize curricula

BUJUMBURA Burundi(Xinhua) -- Leaders of military academies in the East African Community (EAC) member states Tuesday started a three-day meeting in the Burundian capital Bujumbura to look at ways of harmonizing academic curricula.

Participants from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania attended the meeting at the Burundi Military Academy.

At the launch of the meeting, the chancellor of the Burundi Military academy said participants will analyze several issues including the harmonization of academic curricula within the EAC member states.

According to him, the Burundian military academy will have to start the academic year in July starting in 2018 instead of January as all the other four EAC member states, which also include Rwanda, begin their academic year in military academies in July.

Riragonya also indicated that participants will discuss ways of exchanging students and lecturers within the EAC military academies.


Kenyan trade fair launched in Burundi’s capital

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundian First Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo on Monday launched the third edition of Kenya trade investment and cultural expo, rejoicing at the return of peace and security in the east African nation.

Tom Amolo, political diplomatic secretary at the Kenyan foreign ministry, represented the Kenyan government at the fair that took place at Tempete field near shores of Lake Tanganyika.

“If you see people here: Kenyans, Tanzanians, Burundians ... All of them are here for the development of Burundi. This shows that Burundi has recovered peace and security,” Sindimwo said.

The envoy of the Kenyan government said the trade fair is a framework to deepen relations between Burundi and Kenya.

“This trade fair is a milestone in deepening Kenya-Burundi economic and commercial ties,” Amolo said.

According to Amolo, the volume of investments between the two countries is over 70 million U.S. dollars, but “the volume of investments remains very small and I think that we have to do more.”

The week-long trade fair was organized by the Kenya-Burundi association.

The trade fair has been themed “Enhancing economic cooperation and regional integration is a vital milestone to boost bilateral Kenya-Burundi economic ties”.

The second edition of the Kenya trade investment and cultural expo was held in September 2015.


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