Burundi vows to retaliate on armed attacks

Burundi says will retaliate on any attack from Rwanda on its soil and called on the international community to intervene in the deteriorating relation between the two countries. PHOTO| FILE.

Burundi government has yet again expressed deep concerns over the recent armed attacks that happened in the north eastern Cibitoke province, Gitega accuses neighboring Rwanda of aggressions, and trying to destabilize the country and the Great Lakes region.

“If the country is attacked Burundi government reserves the right to defend itself and we will take appropriate measures,” said Burundi government spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye.

Mr. Ntahorwamiye said that his country will retaliate on any attack from Rwanda on its soil and called on the international community to intervene in the deteriorating relation between the two countries.

“Burundi calls on the UN, AU ICGLR and EAC to intervene on the current situation with Rwanda as Kigali should respect the international and regional conventions on justice, peace defense and security,” said the government spokesman.

This comes after the government accused neighboring Rwanda of attacking its military position in Cibitoke province on 17th November 2019, Gitega said that an armed group that came from Rwanda attacked a Burundian military position in Mabayi commune in Cibitoke. Authorities in Burundi say that the armed group fled to neighboring Rwanda after carrying out an attack on its military position.

Rwanda had repeatedly deny the Burundi government’s allegations citing that Burundi should be able to solve her internal problems, “we are not responsible for any attacks on Burundi and Burundi should try and deal with its internal political crisis,” said Rwanda’s East African Community minister Olivier Nduhungirehe.

Last month an armed group infiltrated Burundi from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, after an armed confrontation with Burundi’s security forces Burundi police said at least 14 armed men were killed.

In December last year, International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Secretary General Zachary Muita Muburi called on member states and partners to urgently address Burundi-Rwanda crisis.

Mr. Zachary urged member states as well as partners that the existing tension between the two countries needs to be urgently handled before they escalate any further.

According to the ICGLR Burundi and Rwanda allowed the enhanced joint verification mechanism that is based in Goma to carry out verification missions on their common border issues.

However the outcome of the report is yet to be discussed by the ministers of defense of the member states.

Burundi accuses Rwanda of plotting the 2015 failed coup to oust the incumbent president and militarily training Burundian refugees to over throw president Nkurunziza’s government, in return Rwanda accuses Burundi of sheltering the FDLR rebels who are accused of committing the 1994 genocide.

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