Tension between Burundi and Rwanda has intensified with now the two capitals writing communiques in regarding to the recent comments made by president Evariste Ndayishimiye during his visit in Democratic Republic of Congo.
“These allegations constitute propaganda by the Rwandan Government which aims to distract national and international opinion to camouflage the real problem between Rwanda and Burundi,” a statement read from the office of the Burundi government spokesman Jerome Niyonzima.
According to the Burundi government president Ndayishimiye on January 21 2024 in Kinshasa was responding to the concern submitted to him on the non-participation of young Rwandans in regional meetings, the president called on for the Rwandan youth inclusive participation in the promotion of the development of African Youth.
A video clip that circulated on different social media platforms caused a hullabaloo on netizens with some defending and others condemning.
In less than 24hrs upon the surface of the comments made by Burundi president, Kigali released a communique.
“President Evariste Ndayishimiye made several baseless and incendiary allegations aimed at inciting division among Rwandans, and further jeopardizing peace and security in the Great Lakes Region,” part of the communique from Rwandan government reads.
This comes few weeks after Burundi closed its borders with neighboring Rwanda accusing Kigali of supporting, training and funding Red Tabara an armed group that attacked the country (Gatumba) in December last year killing at least 20 people.
“Despite the diplomatic efforts made since October 2020, the Government of Burundi regrets that the Rwandan Government has never honored the commitment made to extradite the 2015 putschists, mastermind of the Red Tabara terrorist group. An attitude which violates the requirements of the Charter of the African Union and the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the DRC and the region,” part of the communique from Burundi government reads.
Rwanda has now soar relations with two of its four neighbors (Burundi and DRC) with the latter accusing Kigali of supporting rebel groups (M23 and Red Tabara) that have continued to destabilise the two countries.
Burundi accuses Rwanda of having a hand in the 2015 failed coup to oust late Nkurunziza’s government, and sheltering the perpetrators who are now believed to have formed Red Tabara which has been labelled as a terrorist group by Gitega.