Burundi closes border with Rwanda

East Africa
Burundi closes border with Rwanda
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The government of Burundi has announced the closure of its border with neighbour Rwanda.

This comes weeks after Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye accused Rwanda of harbouring rebel group, Red Tabara, allegations that Kagame’s government denies.

In December, the rebel group claimed responsibility for attacks on Burundi soil, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that left dozens dead.

On Thursday, Burundi’s Interior Minister Martin Niteretse announced that his government had suspended diplomatic ties with Rwanda, closing their border.

“We have closed our borders (with Rwanda), anyone who tries to go there will not get through. The decision has been made," Niteretse was quoted as saying.

Rwanda reacts

On Thursday evening, the Government of Rwanda decried the decision by Burundi which it described as ‘unilateral’.

“The Government of Rwanda has learned through media reports of the unilateral decision by the Government of Burundi to again close its borders with Rwanda,”.

In its statement, Rwanda said the decision will restrict the free movement of people and goods between the two countries, and violates the principles of regional cooperation and integration of the East African Community.

This is not the first time the two countries have experienced diplomatic tensions.

In 2015, Burundi closed borders with Rwanda after accusing the neighbouring country of facilitating rebel groups that carried out several attacks on its soil.

Following interventions by both parties, the border was briefly reopened in 2022.

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