On Thursday, 20 July, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza traveled to Tanzania, a neighboring country of Burundi. This visit is the first Burundian president out of the country since the coup d’état of 2015. The announcement was made by his spokesman, Jean Claude Karerwa Ndenzako.
The visit, the spokesman said, aims to strengthen cooperation with his neighbor Tanzania, which is home to tens of thousands of refugees who have fled the violence in their country.
Arriving this Thursday morning in Tanzania, President Pierre Nkurunziza was escorted by a heavily armed convoy. He landed in Ngara (northwest), about fifteen kilometers from the Burundian border, and was greeted by Tanzanian President John Magufuli on a football pitch. In his honor, 21 gun shots were fired.
According to a diplomatic source, ” this meeting took place at the initiative of President Magufuli, he was mandated by the countries of the East African Community (EAC) to convince Nkurunziza to agree to participate in the dialogue Interburundais without conditions “, emphasizes AFP.
In May 2015, while President Pierre Nkurunziza was attending a summit in Tanzania, former allies in the army attempted a coup. In the face of Nkurunziza’s attempt to run for a third term, demonstrations, sometimes violently repressed, broke out in the country.
Since then, there has been violence in the country, which has claimed hundreds of lives by the UN and human rights defenders who accuse the Burundian security forces of serious human rights violations, including Murders and disappearances.
Bujumbura, for his part, has always rejected these allegations, putting them on the account of his exiled opponents and the Western powers.
Pierre Nkurunziza had not left his country since that troubled period that led to the exile more than 400,000 Burundians.