, BUJUMBURA, Burundi, Jul 2 – President Mwai Kibaki on Monday joined Heads of State and Government and other invited dignitaries to commemorate Burundi’s 50th Independence Anniversary.
Burundi gained its independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962. However, this year’s anniversary was observed on July 2 as July 1 which fell on a Sunday is a public holiday in the Burundian labor law.
The colorful celebrations that were attended by thousands of Burundians were held at Prince Louis Rwangasore stadium in Bujumbura.
Other leaders who attended the anniversary celebrations included Presidents Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and Teodoro Obiang of Equitorial Guinea.
Also in attendance was
the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping, among others.
After the celebrations, President Kibaki is expected to commence a two day official visit of Burundi during which he will hold bilateral talks with his host, President Pierre Nkurunziza.
After the talks, the two leaders are expected to preside over the signing of three memoranda of understanding between the Governments of Kenya and Burundi for cooperation in key areas of mutual interest among them information and communication, police matters, public service and tourism.
During the visit, the President is also expected to address the Burundian Parliament and hold meetings with key personalities as well as the Kenyan Community.
The President is accompanied by Cabinet Ministers Sam Ongeri, Dalmas Otieno, Moses Wetangula, Dr. Mohamed Kuti, Prof. Margret Kamar and Assistant Minister Bifwoli Wakoli among others.