EAC worried over rising tensions between partner States

EAC Heads of State during a Climate Change and Food Security forum in November 2023. [EAC]

The East African Community (EAC) has called on partner states to amicably resolve disputes amid rising tensions.

EAC Secretary-General Peter Mathuki, in a circular on Friday, said it was important for the countries to maintain peace, for the welfare of East Africans.

 “All EAC Partner States are urged to strive to achieve harmonious cooperation in their undertakings to ensure the people of East Africa remain at the centre of our integration,” said Mathuki.

EAC further urged conflicting countries to explore the Dispute Resolution Mechanism, to ensure calm is restored.

“I, therefore encourage our esteemed partner States to deploy peaceful settlement of any disputes and restrain, strictly observing the spirit of our treaty and particularly on peaceful co-existence and good neighborliness.”

The remarks come in the back of a border row between Rwanda and Burundi.

On Thursday this week, Burundi said it had closed its border with Rwanda, after accusing Kigali of supporting rebels.

Last December, Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye, accused Rwanda of hosting and training a rebel group, Red Tabara, which claimed responsibility for an attack near Burundi’s western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Rwanda has since denied the allegations.

The recent border closure, Rwanda said “will restrict the free circulation of people and goods between the two countries and violate the principles of regional cooperation and the integration of the EAC.”

It adds onto a list of events causing tension between the two neighbouring countries.