Is Rwanda Supporting Rebels In Burundi’s Conflict?
Burundi has alleged that Neighboring Rwanda is supporting rebels to topple embattled President Pierre Nkurunzinza, accusations the Rwandan government has refuted.
Burundi has sunk to the brink of an all-out civil war after Nkurunziza forced his way back to power through an election that was widely opposed by the country’s citizens who led bloody demonstrations in the capital Bujumbura.
Already an estimated 150,000 people are reported to have fled the country to seek refuge in other regional neighbors. About 2 percent of the country’s population has fled to neighboring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo.
African leaders trying to mediate the situation in Burundi are investigating reports that neighboring Rwanda could be supporting rebels to over throw the government.
“It’s true that Burundi officials including ministers have accused Rwanda of either assisting the armed opposition or facilitating them. The truth will be found out and a solution in case there is a problem,” Crispus Kiyonga, the mediator of the talks between government and the opposition — who is also Uganda’s defense minister — told reporters on Friday.
Rwanda has strongly refuted these allegations and said its only effort in the Burundian conflict is to restore peace.