Tomatoes traders
Tomatoes traders

Kidega told reporters on Monday shortly after holding a meeting with Rwanda Senate President, Bernard Makuza, at the Rwanda Parliamentary Buildings.

Two weeks ago, Burundi Second Vice President Joseph Butore warned Burundian citizens that they would face serious consequences if they trade any commodity with their Rwandan neighbors.

Since then, trading exchange between two countries has drastically declined and the Rwandan government has said the decision would not in any way affect Rwanda’s economy.

“I have heard that free movement of goods and people was halted at Rwanda-Burundi border. We have a body in charge of monitoring business and investment issues responsible for ensuring full rights of members from six countries of East African Community (EAC),” said Kidega.

“What Burundi is doing is a serious breach of EAC trade agreement and EALA is going to investigate the matter and find immediate solution. The region is not happy at all. This hinders regional integration process.”

He called on the Burundian government to keep to the path of deepening EAC integration, allowing free movement of goods, services, people and capital.

Rwanda exports to Burundi were mainly manufactured products, maize, cassava flour, milk, potatoes, unprocessed maize flour, and wheat flour.

Rwanda was mainly importing fruits from Burundi such as mangoes and oranges, dried silver fish and palm oil.

Addressing a news conference last week, Francois Kanimba, Rwanda minister of trade and industry, said that Burundi’s decision to ban exports to and imports from Rwanda was violating the EAC treaty on common market protocol among member states.

He stated that the decision would have little effect since products that were coming from Burundi could be procured elsewhere in other countries in the region.

EAC is made up of six countries, namely, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. EAC member states agreed on a common market protocol.

The EAC Common Market protocol entered into force on July 1, 2010, following ratification by all the partner countries. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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