Rwanda denounces Burundian President’s inflammatory statements, calls for responsible leadership

On 23 January 2024 at 06:39

The Government of Rwanda has strongly condemned the ’inflammatory and un-African statements’ made by Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye during an event in Kinshasa on January 21, 2024.

During the event, President Ndayishimiye engaged with over 500 Congolese youth and openly pledged his active support to Rwandan youth in their efforts to topple the current government.

Ndayishimiye asserted that while the population in the region lives decently, the core issue lies in what he perceives as "bad leaders."

He expressed unwavering determination to persist in the struggle until Rwandans themselves apply pressure on their leaders.

Rwanda has through a statement indicated that President Ndayishimiye, serving as the African Union Champion for Youth, Peace, and Security, utilized a platform provided by the continental organization ’to make baseless and incendiary allegations aimed at sowing division among Rwandans and destabilizing peace and security in the Great Lakes Region’.

The Rwandan government expressed deep concern over President Ndayishimiye’s actions, particularly given his role as an African Union representative. The statement emphasized that the Burundian leader’s attempt to incite young Rwandans to overthrow their government is not only troubling but also a clear violation of the principles outlined in the African Union Charter.

Directly addressing the issue, the statement from the Government of Rwanda highlighted the nation’s unwavering commitment to unity and development. It stressed that Rwandans, particularly the youth, have actively embraced the opportunity to contribute to the country’s progress, and any attempt to undermine these efforts is deeply concerning.

The government further underscored that Rwanda has no interest in creating conflicts with its neighbors, emphasizing its ongoing commitment to regional partnerships aimed at fostering stability and development. The response also called for responsible leadership and adherence to the principles of the African Union Charter, urging leaders to prioritize constructive dialogue over divisive rhetoric.

The incident underscores the challenges of maintaining regional stability, especially when inflammatory remarks are made by leaders on platforms meant for cooperation and unity.

Tensions between Rwanda and Burundi escalated at the end of 2023 following Ndayishimiye’s accusations that Rwanda supported the RED-Tabara rebel against his regime.

Rwanda staunchly denied these allegations, highlighting its lack of interest in disrupting Burundi’s security and reminding that they had extradited RED-Tabara fighters who had illegally entered the territory to the Burundian government.

Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye recently engaged with over 500 Congolese youth and openly pledged his active support to Rwandan youth in their efforts to topple the current government.