Rwanda rejects Burundi meddling accusations

2015-10-23 14:53


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kigali - Rwanda has dismissed accusations it was meddling in neighbouring Burundi's political crisis, with Kigali's foreign minister saying Rwanda only wanted peace.

"Burundi's problem is not Rwanda's, Burundi's problem is Burundi's," Louise Mushikiwabo told reporters in Kigali late on Thursday. "We believe, as leadership, that when leaders take decisions they should be able to live with the consequences of the decisions."

Burundi, where a 13-year civil war ended in 2006, has been rocked by violence since April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza launched his now successful but highly controversial bid for a third term in power.

Relations between Rwanda and Burundi grew tense after Rwanda President Paul Kagame urged Nkurunziza to end his bid for a third term.

"Our wish is for Burundi to be peaceful, for those who've sought refuge in Rwanda to repatriate, and for the region to advance," Mushikiwabo added.

Problems and tensions

The Rwandan capital Kigali has become a refuge for many opposition and civil society activists - as well as dissidents from Nkurunziza's ruling party.

Burundi however goes a step further, claiming that rebel forces - set up by mutinous soldiers after a failed coup in May - are also there and enjoying Rwandan support.

But Kigali said it does not want to be drawn into the accusations.

"We are not in the logic of exchanging accusations and denials," Mushikiwabo said.

"It's not that we've kept quiet, we want them [Burundians] to solve their own problems, and after we shall talk about our relations," she added.

Tightly-controlled Rwanda - which has a similar ethnic makeup to Burundi - is seen as a safe place for those who oppose the government in Bujumbura.

The people of Rwanda and Burundi have close ties, and have taken turns sheltering in their neighbour when trouble spiked, including during Rwanda's 1994 genocide and Burundi's 1993-2006 civil war. Rwanda now hosts over 70 000 refugees from Burundi.

"Refugees are highly politicized, and what we're trying to avoid is that the problems and tensions that exist at the level of Burundi, are transferred on Rwandan territory," she added.

Read more on:    pierre nkuruniziza  |  paul kagame  |  burundi  |  rwanda  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.