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Rwanda speaks out on Burundi’s border closure following humiliation in DR Congo

By IGIHE
On 22 February 2024 at 08:39

Rwanda has expressed concerns over Burundi’s recent move to seal its borders, a decision that came after what it deems a setback in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), sparking intense debates and speculation about the underlying reasons for such a significant action.

The Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Yolande Makolo provided insights into the matter during an interview with Alan Kasujja on the Africa Daily show, underscoring the ramifications for both countries’ relations and the broader regional equilibrium.

Burundi’s initiative to close its borders with Rwanda, following military difficulties in the DRC where its forces faced considerable defeats, seems to be an attempt to shift focus from its perceived embarrassment.

Makolo criticized this action as misguided and at odds with African solidarity, highlighting its detrimental effects on the economic and social ties that bind these neighboring countries. She pointed out that the closure predominantly impacts Burundian people and contradicts the collective welfare of the area.

Addressing accusations from Burundi that Rwanda backs the RED Tabara rebel faction active in South Kivu, DRC, Makolo firmly refuted such claims. She asserted Rwanda’s non-involvement with RED Tabara’s operations, arguing that this dispute should be resolved between Burundi and the DRC, without unfairly dragging Rwanda into the matter.

Makolo underscored Rwanda’s commitment to constructive dialogue to settle any disputes. She called attention to the ongoing regional frameworks, stressing the importance of political determination from area leaders for fruitful cooperation.

The spokesperson reaffirmed Rwanda’s readiness to discuss and sort out any issues, clarifying that Rwanda refuses to be held accountable for the shortcomings of its neighbors.

“What we need is political will on all the parts of regional leaders. [...] Rwanda stands ready always to talk and iron out any issues that are there. We cannot be responsible for the failures of governance of other countries because we are working hard to make sure that Rwanda works for Rwandans,” she stated.

In spite of these challenges, Makolo asserted Rwanda’s keenness to work collaboratively and advance collectively with other nations.

Makolo reaffirmed Rwanda's readiness to discuss and sort out any issues, clarifying that Rwanda refuses to be held accountable for the shortcomings of its neighbors.

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