Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye on Monday left for DRC for a three-day state visit at the invitation of President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi.
This is the latest of President Ndayishimiye’s diplomatic outreach in the region, a shift of diplomatic policy from his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza.
He has visited Tanzania (September), Uganda (May) and Kenya (May) in the EAC region.
On June 28, Ndayishimiye sent Foreign Affairs minister Albert Shingiro to meet with Tshisekedi before agreeing to a first tête-à-tête with his Congolese counterpart.
The latter’s arrival to power in January 2019 and his willingness to cooperate with his neighbours, particularly within the security field, has opened up new prospects that Gitega does not want to miss out on.
Especially since Kinshasa and Kigali’s reconciliation, as well as the prospect of increased cooperation between the two countries in eastern DRC, is worrying some neighbours.
On October 4-5, 2020 President Ndayishimiye hosted a delegation from DRC for diplomatic talks on his invitation. This was part of the Second Session of the Bilateral Ministerial Consultation on Peace and Security.
Foreign Affairs minister Marie Tumba Nzeza, who led the DRC delegation, said the meeting was the realisation of the will of the respective presidents.
A communique issued on October 5 indicated among the recommendations made were to establish an MoU on strengthening and maintenance of peace and security on the border, develop a framework for exchange of information between the administrative authorities of the two countries and initiate regular meetings of security and administrative authorities of the border provinces of Burundi and DR Congo.
They also agreed to put in place a joint operational plan to neutralise armed groups destabilising their countries, in particular by organising coordinated patrols on both sides of the border.