Rugombo-Luvungi: official opening of the Burundian-Congolese border

Rugombo-Luvungi: official opening of the Burundian-Congolese border

Residents of the commune of Rugombo in the province of Cibitoke (north-west of Burundi) and of the Itara-Luvungi groupment plain of Rusizi territory of Uvira in the province of South Kivu in the east of Congo welcome the decision by the Burundian government to reopen the Rubenga border post. It was this Tuesday, November 1 that the border was reopened. They say they are satisfied with the resumption of commercial and social relations between the residents on both sides of the border. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Official opening ceremonies of the border of Rubenga, on the hill of Mparambo II, in the commune of Rugombo took place in the presence of the administrative authorities of Cibitoke and the plain of Rusizi in the territory of Uvira in South Kivu.

This border, which has been closed for three years due to Covid-19, gives direct access to the neighboring localities of the two countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa on either side of the Rusizi (river separating Burundi and the DRC).
According to residents, this reopening of the borders will allow the resumption of commercial and social relations, especially for the inhabitants of the commune of Rugombo and Luvungi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Marie Nzeyimana, having children studying on the other side of the Rusizi in the Luvungi groupement, indicates that she will immediately organize visits to see her children.

“For more than 3 years, I have not seen my children and relatives established in our big neighbor of the west. Now, we have the opportunity to further strengthen the free movement of goods and people”, rejoices this young mother with a smile.

Same story for Ngoyi Sylvain Kambale, one of the administrative heads of the Itara groupment in DR Congo, who reports that traffic on this border had been at a standstill since 2019 and that even the exchange of criminals between the two countries was not taking place any longer.

Gilbert Manirakiza, the administrator of Rugombo specifies that the reopening of this border falls within the framework of “promoting the circulation of goods and people for the two neighboring States”.

He further adds that security will be reinforced to “prevent troublemakers from taking advantage of this opportunity to commit crimes on both sides of the Rusizi”.

The authorities of the two countries should continue to share information on the state of border security, he said.

The population, especially on the Burundian side, is asking the public authorities to lower the fees required, still in force, for screening for Covid-19 in order to promote communication between the vulnerable populations of Rugombo and Luvungi.

To cross the river, each passenger must pay 15 thousand Burundian francs for Burundians and 15 dollars for foreigners, with only Burundi requiring Covid-19 tests before entering its territory.

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