There is heightened tension between Rwanda and Burundi, after the government of Jean Pierre Nkurunziza denounced the continued attacks on its territory by the Paul Kagame led Rwandan army.
Officials in Bujumbura claim that Rwandan military has severally carried out attacks on Burundi, with the most recent one being that of November 16-17, 2019, although the International Community has decided to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the various invasions.
The allegations are contained in a statement released by the Burundian Internal Affairs Minister Ezechiel Nibigira dated November 26, 2019, in which Burundi details the number of times Rwandan army has attacked Burundi civilian and military installations.
The statement titled ‘ACT OF DENUNCIATION OF RWANDA AGGRESSION AGAINST BURUNDI’, reads in part thus;Once again, Burundi has been victim of an attack by a neighbouring country, Rwanda in the night of 16-17 November 2019. Indeed during that night, the Rwandan army carried out an attack on a military position of the Burundian army, located on the Twinyonyi mountain, precisely in Marura, Commune Mabayi, Chibitoke Province.
This attack is added to countless attacks from the same country, which have been denounced to Regional and International Organizations.As reminder;On the date of 1st September 2015, the government of the republic of Burundi, by its letters N204.01/120/RE/ 2015 and N204.01/121/RE/2015 has raised the matter to that president of the Regional Inter-ministerial Committee of the ICGR, as well as the Executive Secretary of the ICGR, recalling the violation of Rwanda of the convention on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region and the protocol on Non-Aggression and Mutual Defence.
Following the attack on Burundi by Rwanda on July 10, 2015 in Kabarore, and taking into account that the main perpetrators of the failed coup in May 13, 2015 had entrenched themselves in Rwanda, the government of the republic of Burundi requested the ICGR to activate the Joint Extended Verification Mechanism (JEVM), for the purpose of clarifying the facts, specifying where the combatants were trained, identifying their recruitment network, their trainers or instructors, those who equip them and the ways of transporting the equipment, the supporters and sponsors as well as their aims and report to the competent authorities.
At the end of its verification in Burundi, the ICGR Joint Verification Extended Mechanism (JEVM) found that Rwanda’s allegations against Burundi are unfounded.
Unfortunately, Rwanda refused to the same Investigations to be carried out on its territory to verify military training and armament of young Burundians taken hostage at the Mahama Refugees Camp.
In addition, the government of the republic of Burundi has submitted complaints to the East African Community (EAC), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), to denounce all these aggressions, provocations and violations by Rwanda of the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region and its Protocol on Non-Aggression and Mutual Defence as well as other international texts governing coexistence between States.”The statement adds that “Despite all these so far complaints ignored, Burundi has this time been victim of an attack perpetrated by the Rwandan army on the night of 16-17 November 2019, in Mabayi Commune, Province of Chibitoke, causing material and human damages.What what precedes therefore, the government of the republic of Burundi deplores the inaction of Regional and International Communities seized by Burundi and would like to take this opportunity to inform the Regional and International Communities of the following; Burundi reiterates it commitment to compliance with the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region, its Protocol on Non-Aggression and Mutual Defence, as well as other International texts governing coexistence between States.The government of the republic of Burundi strongly condemns Rwanda’s despicable acts against Burundi.Burundi will not give in to provocation but will not tolerate such acts of aggression either and will take all appropriate measures.The government of the republic of Burundi reiterates its appeal to the African Union Commission, East African Community, United Nations to play their full role with regard to respect and implementation of both International and Regional Conventions particularly in their provisions relating to Justice, Peace, Defence and Security.Finally, Burundi calls on all these International and Regional Organizations to break with silence in order to put an end to the hostile acts of Rwanda against Burundi.”
However, despite all the above, the government of Rwanda has since remained silent about Burundi’s accusations and allegations. Kigali has up to today neither refuted or admitted the accusations.
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