RUYIGI February 19th (ABP) – The governor of Ruyigi province (east), Mr. Elie Bashingwa, paid a three-day official visit to the Kigoma and Mwanza provinces of the United Republic of Tanzania. The visit, which ended on Saturday, February 16, was aimed at strengthening good-neighborly relations between the two countries and getting to know the Tanzanian authorities in Kigoma and Mwanza, with a view to strengthening security on the Burundian-Tanzanian border.

In Kigoma province, Governor Bashingwa and his delegation first introduced themselves to the authorities of Kibondo District, bordering the Gisuru commune of Burundi. Mr. Bashingwa told the chief of that district that the Ruyigi delegation is on Tanzanian territory as a friend and brother. He stressed that this is a good opportunity to make contact because he has just been recently appointed to those positions and it is therefore beneficial and better to know each other for better collaboration. The delegation then went to the Mwanza province, whose capital is more than 500 km from Kibondo. Arriving in Mwanza, Governor Bashingwa was able to meet with his counterpart, Lieutenant-Colonel John Kitayomba Mongela who expressed his satisfaction for that visit which is an added value in the relations between the two provinces.

Mr. Bashingwa spoke of a step forward in the exchange of experiences and that Burundians and Tanzanians will learn and draw lesson from each other, following the steps already taken by all in different fields and experiences lived by one and the other.

On the way back, the governor of Ruyigi and his delegation visited on Saturday, Gakonko District, located in Kigoma province where the Burundian refugee camp of Mutenderi is located. The governor had the opportunity to meet with a local government delegation led by Ms. Zainabu Mbunda. Their interview was mainly based on the awareness of refugees to return to Burundi, because the country is today in peace and tranquility. They also spoke of security on the common border while deploring the existence of a group of bandits who sometimes commit theft in the localities bordering Gakonko, on the Tanzanian side, and Gisuru on the Burundi side, from an area they have nicknamed “Kosovo”.

Governor Bashingwa said that four individuals from that group are already imprisoned in Ruyigi, but that this group has a peculiarity that makes investigations and trials difficult. That peculiarity consists in the use of false identities and the members of that group refuse to reveal their true identity and pose as Tanzanians when they are caught in Burundi and pose as Burundians when they are caught in Tanzania. The authorities of Gakonko and Ruyigi have pledged to intensify the operations to track down and destroy that group definitively, and especially to discourage any individual who has the dream of disrupting the security of the two countries.

Governor Bashingwa and his delegation were satisfied with the results achieved in that neighboring country and brother. Note that the visit was financially supported by the NGO Lutheran World Federation (LWF) as part of the strengthening of good-neighborly relations between Burundi and Tanzania, called “Ujilani Mwema” in Swahili.

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