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Tanzania Waives Visas for Burundi Nationals

Tanzania has formally waived visa requirements for Burundi nationals travelling into the country.

The visa-free-travel came into effect on March 17, according to a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs, a copy of which was dispatched to the EAC Secretariat in Arusha.

“You are informed of the removal of visa [requirement] for citizens of Burundi with immediate effect from 17 March 2010,” reads the letter from the Department of Immigration.

The document with reference number CJB.96/15/01’F’/74 was directed to Tanzanian embassies, Immigration officers, senior officers at Tanzanian ports of entry and the EAC secretariat.

The cancellation means nationals of Burundi are no longer required to pay the compulsory $20 visa fees before being granted entry into Tanzania.

The decision was first communicated to the Burundian Minister in charge of Regional Integration and East-African Community Affairs, Hafsa Mossi, by her Tanzanian counterpart, Dr Diodorus Buberwa Kamala.Ms Mossi said she had required in this regard a written document from Tanzanian authorities.

The acting head of EAC’s Department of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Richard Othieno Owora, says the move is in line with EAC ideals that promote the free movement of persons in the region as envisioned in the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.

Other nationals from EAC partner states, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have long been exempted from visa requirements to enterTanzania.

However, it is not clear why Burundians had to suffer the bureaucracy, while Tanzanians travelling to Burundi were not required to produce a visa or pay anything.

Burundi and Rwanda joined the EAC on July 1, 2007. Burundi largely depends on the Tanzanian ports of Dar-es-salaam and Kigoma for its imports and exports.

Tanzania is also ready to facilitate the transit and storage of goods bound for Burundi at its various ports.

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