On Monday October 5, 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi H.E Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO received in audience a high-level delegation led by the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo H.E Mrs. Marie TUMBA NZEZA.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi H.E Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO first welcomed the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Speaking in turn, the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo H.E Mrs. Marie TUMBA NZEZA welcomed the holding of this session which is the realization of the will of “our two Heads of State, their Excellencies Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE and Félix-Antoine TSHISEKEDI TSHILOMBO”.
Afterwards, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO praised the excellent relations of friendship and cooperation between our two countries while wishing their strengthening.
The two delegations exchanged views on the points relating to the management of security issues at the common border between the Republic of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the promotion of trade between the two countries, the management of the pandemic Covid-19, as well as other issues of common interest.
After identifying the challenges that are facing the Republic of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and after fruitful discussions, the two delegations made some recommendations. These include, among others:
-the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding on the strengthening and maintenance of peace and security on the common border between the Republic of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo;
-the establishment of a framework for the exchange of information between the administrative Authorities of the two countries at all levels;
-the initiation of regular meetings of military, police and administrative Authorities of the provinces’ borders of the Republic of Burundi and those of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
-the establishment of joint stabilization mechanisms for the Rusizi / Ruzizi plain which take into account sustainable development, with the objective of making Lake Tanganyika our “mare nostrum”, our common heritage, and securing the space all around the borders;
-the rehabilitation of the National Road No 5 Bukavu-Uvira, 10 km of which have already been paved to facilitate the flow of goods and people between Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo;
– the request to the two countries to speed up the procedures for the rehabilitation of the bridge which connects the province of Cibitoke in Burundi and the province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo;
-regulating and increasing cross-border trade in the best interests of the economies of both countries;
-the establishment of a joint operational plan to neutralize negative forces and other armed groups destabilizing our two countries, in particular by organizing coordinated patrols on both sides of our common border;
-the establishment of a pedestrian bridge linking Gihanga to Kagina in South Kivu;
– the combined efforts to fight against cross-border fraud and smuggling as well as illicit trafficking of natural resources;
-the establishment of a joint mechanism for the protection of the environment along the common border, in this case the coast of Lake Tanganyika and the plain of Rusizi / Ruzizi;
-the reactivation of the activities of the Mixed Technical Commission in charge of the Demarcation and Materialization of the common border between the two countries;
-encouraging the exchange of information and intelligence between the Defense Forces and the Security Services, in particular on cross-border security;
-the involvement of the Navy forces of our two countries in the control of Lake Tanganyika through coordinated patrols, to prevent any activity of the negative forces operating along Lake Tanganyika;
-the signing of a specific Bilateral Agreement for the management of the stay and establishment of nationals of the two countries in the territory of one or the other;
-the reactivation of the Burundi-Democratic Republic of Congo-High tripartite Commissioner for Refugees to, among other things, relocate Burundian refugee camps in accordance with the standards required by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and encourage their voluntary return to their respective countries;
-the instruction to the migration services of the two countries to study the issue of juxtaposed border posts;
-the establishment of a Permanent Mixed Commission in charge of Political, Defense and Security issues;
-the harmonization and standardization of tools and practices that help reduce the consequences of the cross-border circulation of diseases through the movements of populations of the two countries.
During her visit, Mrs. Marie TUMBA NZEZA, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo was received in audience by His Excellency Mr. Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE, President of the Republic of Burundi to convey a message of his Congolese counterpart, His Excellency Mr. Félix-Antoine TSHISEKEDI TSHILOMBO.
This delegation from the Democratic Republic of Congo stayed in Bujumbura from 4th to 5th October 2020 in the framework of the second session of the Bilateral Ministerial Consultation on Peace and Security between the Republic of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.