Rwanda Denies Claims Of Supporting Burundian Rebel Group, Calls For Diplomatic Resolution Amidst Rising Tensions

Rwanda Denies Claims Of Supporting Burundian Rebel Group, Calls For Diplomatic Resolution Amidst Rising Tensions

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

The Government of Rwanda has refuted allegations made by Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye that Kigali supports a Burundian rebel group based in eastern DR Congo.

While addressing Burundian public and the media on Friday, December 29, Ndayishimiye accused Rwanda of harboring and training members of RED Tabara, a group responsible for the December 22 attack that left 20 people dead in Gatumba, western Burundi.

In a statement on Friday, the Office of the Government Spokesperson said there was “no truth whatsoever in Burundian President’s allegation referring to Rwanda.”

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“The Government of Rwanda rejects comments by H.E. Évariste Ndayishimiye, President of the Republic of Burundi, alleging Rwandan support for Burundian armed rebel groups based in Eastern DRC. Rwanda is not associated, in any way, with any Burundian armed group,” Rwanda said in response.

In 2020, the two governments began the normalization of diplomatic relations, which took a hit after a foiled coup attempt in Burundi in 2015.

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“It should be recalled that, in the spirit of mutual cooperation, the government of Rwanda has previously handed over, through the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism, Burundian combatants who illegally crossed into Rwanda,” the Office of the Government Spokesperson said.

Rwanda in 2020 handed to Burundi close to 20 rebels and their ammunition after they were intercepted by Rwanda Defence Force in south western Rwanda.

They had crossed 600 metres into the Rwandan territory, local authorities said at the time.

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“The Government of Rwanda urges the Government of Burundi to address their concerns through diplomatic channels where they can be resolved amicably,” the statement added.

The December 22 attack was claimed by RED-Tabara, which said it had killed 10 members of the security forces, claiming that they never targeted civilians.

President Ndayishimiye said members of the armed group were implicated in the 2015 coup attempt against his predecessor late President Pierre Nkurunziza.

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