Rwanda-TZ ties in “excellent” shape, envoy

Tanzanian Ambassador to Rwanda Ali Idi Siwa

Tanzanian Ambassador to Rwanda Ali Idi Siwa

The Tanzanian envoy to Rwanda, Ambassador Ali Idi Siwa has said that despite the few hiccups and political standoffs that have affected ties between Rwanda and Tanzania, the two countries are enjoying excellent bilateral relations.

The ambassador made the remarks Thursday while paying courtesy call to Rwanda’s President of the Senate Hon. Bernard Makuza where the two leaders held talks on a range of that mutually benefit the two neighbouring partners.

Siwa said that top on agenda was the need to discuss some of the ongoing 16 projects between the two countries, especially the construction of the standard gauge railway line from Dar es salaam to Kigali.

He revealed the contractors; China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC) have already been identified and by the end of the month a foundation stone will be laid to pave way for the construction activities.

Other countries in the region have allegedly expressed concerns the East African Community (EAC) railway route via Kigali would not be profitable now and that instead South Sudan and Sudan would a more viable option.

On the issue of the DR Congo based rebels (FDLR) who have been a result of political standoff, Siwa said the issue has been, and will be dealt with accordingly.

“These are some of the problems we see as neighbours, but the FDLR has been an issue and we will help the region to deal with this problem.” Siwa said.

Hon. Makuza also commended Rwanda and Tanzania’s ties noted ‘wars’ between neigbours are common and this has not stopped the two countries from working together.

Relations between Dar es Salaam and Kigali have been tense over the last few years following Tanzania’s leader President Jakaya Kikwete’s suggestion that Rwanda engages FDLR rebels in the DRC in diplomatic dialogue. Rwanda took offense with Kikwete’s assertions with Kagame furiously and openly lambasting his Tanzanian counterpart.