By Andrew Irumba
Amid soaring tensions between Burundi and Rwanda, Rwanda has told its citizens not to cross into Burundi for security reasons. The Eastern Rwandan inhabitants of Rwanda are especially advised not to cross the border to Burundi.
The frosty ties between Burundi and Rwanda started in 2015 when these ‘twin countries’ started to accuse mutually of wanting to destabilize their countries. Both countries deny these mutual accusations. The EAC has tried a little to solve this crisis but to no avail.
According to a BBC report, the commander of the Eastern Military Region and the city of Kigali communicated to residents of all areas bordering Burundi, in Rwanda’s Eastern province not to travel to Burundi.
In a security meeting last Wednesday, the commander of the Rwandan Eastern part said: “No way to get to the other side. Even in case of marriage, look for partners here at home because, on the other side, the ground is slippery”.
“You also know that security is above all, our neighbors are not good now. Keep an eye on your friends and partners on the other side, and do not go there until things are improved, “said General Mubalaka Muganga.
The administration and the police also asked the population not to frequent the natural forest of Gako, which extends to Burundi, because they risked being shot at, the Burundi media reported.
“We warn you. Forget any reason you want to go to this natural forest, whether it’s fetching firewood, grazing or whatever. Going there may be considered as an act of rebellion or being shot. As a military commander, I warn you! Whoever is caught will not have the chance to tell others, we will not even present him or her to the police, rather we will ‘immobilize’ him or her here, “warned General Mubalaka.
This high-ranking military official pointed out that two of his soldiers were wounded by strangers in this Gako nature reserve, adding that this forest may be used by enemies to attack Rwanda because its extension goes to Burundi.
It should be remembered that Rwanda advised its citizens not to travel to Uganda for the same security reasons amid the standoff between it and Uganda over the border closure of Katuna linking these two countries.
Rwanda, among others issues said Uganda was allegedly arresting its citizens and no reasons were being given.
Infact, Rwanda has since seemingly closed its boarders with Uganda though it has since denied the same, but trade between the two countries is still facing un explained ‘constipation’.
Analysts say that Rwanda is distancing itself from bothering countries’ such as Burundi and Uganda in order to maintain its better relations with only other EAC member states such as Kenya and Tanzania for strategic reasons.