Government of Rwanda has refuted claims made by Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye that Rwanda supports a Burundian rebel group operating in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
On December 29, 2023 Ndayishimiye publicly accused Rwanda of harbouring and training members of RED Tabara, a group responsible for the December 22 attack that left 20 people dead in Gatumba, Western Burundi.
The RED-Tabara claimed the above attack in which they said it had killed 10 members of the security forces, and that they never targeted civilians.
Rwanda’s Office of the Government Spokesperson, Yolanda Makolo released a statement saying there was “no truth whatsoever in Burundian President’s allegation referring to Rwanda.”
“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,” the statement read in part.
The statement recalled that in the spirit of mutual cooperation, the Government of Rwanda has previously handed over, through the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism, Burundian combatants (20) who illegally crossed into Rwanda.
In order to retain the spirit, Rwanda urged Burundi to seek diplomatic means to address any other concerns.
“The Government of Rwanda urges the Government of Burundi to address their concerns through diplomatic channels where they can be resolved amicably,” the statement said.
Rwanda and Burundi had since 2020 started to normalize their relationship which had been distorted following a civil unrest in Burundi in 2015 which left many Burundians refugees fleeing to Rwanda