Burundi at the weekend admitted an attack into Tanzanian territory on June 29, during which 10 civilians were killed.
Burundi at the weekend admitted an attack into Tanzanian territory on June 29, during which 10 civilians were killed. The admission, following the visit of President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and President Michel Micombero of Burundi to Dar es Salaam, ended weeks of tension between the countries. Burundi agreed to pay compensation for the attack.
The immediate result was that Tanzanian dockworkers lifted their crippling boycott of Burundi trade -- more than 85 per cent of which passes through Tanzania.
SYNOPSIS: Cargo started flowing through Dar as Salaam at the weekend following the end of a crippling ban on goods to Burundi by Tanzanian dockworkers. Tension between Tanzania and Burundi had been high following a border incident at the end of June, when ten Tanzanian civilians were killed. To urge a settlement of the border dispute, the dock workers kept up their boycott for three weeks. More than eighty-five per cent of trade for land-locked Burundi passes through Tanzania.
The boycott was called off when Burundi admitted making the attack into Tanzanian territory and agreed to pay compensation. This announcement followed a visit to Dar es Salaam by Burundi's President Michel Micombero, accompanied by President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. Following six hours of talks with the Tanzanian head of state, President Julius Nyerere, all three leaders pledged their efforts to ensure that such incidents were not repeated.
But the communique issued after the talks made no mention of the factor which Tanzania claims is the root cause of the trouble -- internal tribal conflict in Burundi. As a result of this conflict, more than forty-thousand refugees have entered tanzania in the last year, and more than a quarter of them are still in the border area.