January 26, 2008 / 5:08 PM / 13 years ago

Tanzania to build rail link to Rwanda by 2013

NAIROBI, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Tanzania plans to build a rail link to Rwanda’s capital Kigali by 2013 and work is expected to begin later this year, the office of Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has announced.

The railway will run from Isaka in southern Tanzania and will be built by U.S.-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).

"The construction of a rail link between Isaka and Rwanda’s capital is planned to start later this year, the president was told today," said the statement, seen by Reuters on Saturday.

"A delegation of BNSF officials has also told President Kikwete the construction is expected to be completed in 2013."

It did not say how much the project would cost.

Political turmoil in Kenya since a disputed presidential election last month has disrupted road transport, affecting Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

Last week, part of Kenya’s rail network was disrupted when protesters uprooted part of the track running through Nairobi. The operator, Rift Valley Railway, expects services to resume next week after repairs. (Reporting by George Obulutsa; editing by Andrew Dobbie)

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