Expert to EAC-step up on Burundi

Mahama camp, the largest refugee camp in Rwanda, which sits on 50 hectares/ Photo Daniel S. Ntwari

Mahama camp, the largest refugee camp in Rwanda, which sits on 50 hectares/ Photo Daniel S. Ntwari

Dr. Nasson Munyandamutsa, a Rwandan scholar and expert on Genocide has said that unless that East African community (EAC) takes appropriate action to stop the Burundi from spiraling out of control and restore peace in the country, regional countries will endure the consequences.

Munyandamutsa made the remarks today, while addressing students from various regional countries, who were in Rwanda to get firsthand information on the 1994 Genocide.

He said that the situation in Burundi is worsening day by day and that there is no way the EAC can turn a deaf ear or pay lip service about it.

“Burundians are our neighbours and their lack of peace definitely affects us in many ways. The EAC leaders must take hard measures to see that peace is restored” he said.

Although Rwanda and Tanzania are receiving and hosting majority of the refugees, EAC community as unity is yet to put forth concrete measures towards the restoration of peace in Burundi.

70,000 Burundian refugees have entered Tanzania whereas about 27, 000 are in Rwanda, these countries’ resources to cater for refugees are being stretched.

In the meantime, Rwanda and Uganda ministers for East African Community have said they will push for restoration of peace in Burundi, but again no proposals on the table.

There are so far over 21.000 Burundian refugees living in Mahama camp,

While visiting the Mahama camp located in Kirehe district along Rwanda-Tanzania border, a camp that has so far received 21,000 refugees, Minister Valentine Rugwabiza and his Ugandan counterpart Shem Bageine, said that they will present a report on the state of Burundian refugees, but also push for peace in the central African nation.

“We are here to assess how you are living and listen to your problems as good neighbours, It is our assignment to see that the refugees are taken care of and we want to see peace in Burundi at all costs” Minister told Bageine.

Some Burundian refugees in Rwanda are claiming there are many Burundians who have been blocked from fleeing the country in the wake of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s return to power after foiling an attempted coup 10 days ago.