Frontière burundo-rwandaise

Burundi closes its border with Rwanda, for “bad neighborliness of Paul Kagame”

The Burundian authorities announced on Thursday the closure of all their land borders with Rwanda, amid accusations of support for an armed group in eastern DRC.

Gitega accuses Kigali of serving as a base for its enemies, according to the term used by the Burundian Minister of the Interior and Security. At the same time, he also announced the expulsion of Rwandan nationals who reside on their territory.

The Burundian authorities, led by the Head of State, accused Rwanda at the end of 2023 of financing, arming, housing and feeding the Burundian RED-Tabara rebels. The rebellion is, according to Gitega, responsible for the attack which left 20 dead in Gatumba, a Burundian town bordering the DRC.

“We closed our borders (with Rwanda), whoever tries to go there will not pass. The decision has been made”declared to journalists on Thursday, the Burundian Minister of the Interior, Martin Niteretse. “After realizing that we had a bad neighbor, Paul Kagame (…), we stopped all relations with him until he returned to better feelings”he also affirmed, maintaining that the Rwandan neighbor “harbors criminals who harm Burundians. » “We don’t want Rwandan nationals”added Mr. Niteretse.

The Burundian opposition deplores these measures. While Rwanda rejects its neighbor’s allegations. And regrets the closing of the borders which he describes as a ”unilateral” decision. This new situation comes about a year after the reopening of the border with Rwanda, after 7 years of closure.