Africa

Tanzania backs Burundi’s bid to join Southern African Development Community

After talks with Burundian counterpart, Tanzanian president vows to strengthen border security

Kizito Makoye   | 22.10.2021
Tanzania backs Burundi’s bid to join Southern African Development Community

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan Friday supported Burundi’s bid to join the Southern African Development Community (SADC), urging countries to lift sanctions on the landlocked country.

Speaking to reporters after holding bilateral talks with her Burundian counterpart Evariste Ndayishimiye in the capital city Dodoma, Hassan said Tanzania is satisfied with its existing relations with Burundi, adding she will support the country’s bid to join SADC.

“I have told him Burundi is a friendly nation and close associate to ensure that the great lakes region is safe, and peaceful,” Hassan said, vowing to strengthen security along the border with the neighboring country.

Burundi has for many months been struggling to join the regional bloc but to no avail. In 2016, the SADC ministerial committee sent a delegation to Burundi to assess its eligibility to join the bloc.

President Ndayishimiye arrived in Tanzania Friday for a three-day state visit.

Political analysts believe the visit is likely to strengthen trade and investments in favor of the tiny East African nation ravaged by war and civil strife.

This is the second time Ndayishimiye visited Tanzania as the head of state. In September last year, he met with late President John Magufuli in the Kigoma town close to the border with Burundi.

President Ndayishimiye was received by the minister of foreign affairs and East African cooperation, Liberata Mulamula, at the Dodoma airport. He then proceeded to the statehouse in Chamwino for bilateral talks with his Tanzanian counterpart.

His visit reciprocated Hassan's visit to Burundi in July, which ushered in a new chapter of cooperation between the two neighborly nations.

In Dodoma, President Ndayishimiye also laid the foundation stone of a $180 million fertilizer factory with the capacity to produce 500,000 tons of fertilizer and over 3,000 jobs.

According to Mulamula, the Burundian head of state is also scheduled to visit the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago on Saturday, where he is expected to hold talks with President Hussein Ali Mwinyi.

President Ndayishimiye, whose country heavily depends on Tanzania for import and export of goods, and Hassan will Sunday visit the Dar es Salaam port, the standard gauge railway construction site, and Kwala Dry Port where Burundi was allocated 10 hectares of land.

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