The President’s contentious actions, notably the unfounded accusation linking Rwanda to the armed group RED-Tabara, implicated in attacks in Gatumba, Bujumbura province, have raised eyebrows. President Ndayishimiye has mooted the idea of closing Burundi’s borders with Rwanda on two separate occasions: first, during a public broadcast on December 29, 2023, in the province of Cankuzo, and second, in his New Year’s address to the Burundian nation.
In a statement released on Thursday, January 4, 2024, titled "Call for Wisdom in the Face of Diplomatic-Military Tensions," the Sahwanya-Frodebu party expressed deep concern over the escalating tensions and advocated for calm and dialogue.
Patrick Nkurunziza, the party’s president, emphasized, "We call upon the governments of Burundi and Rwanda to exercise restraint and prioritize heightened diplomatic and fraternal dialogue. The historical, social, and political ties between the two countries transcend any potential conflict and must be preserved."
Sahwanya-Frodebu underscores the importance of drawing lessons from past crises, emphasizing that impulsive decisions, such as border closures, would only replicate previous mistakes. The party advocates for the enhancement of diplomatic and partnership ties with Rwanda.
Nkurunziza reiterated their commitment to dialogue, highlighting the essential role of communication in conflict resolution. "By emphasizing the need to keep communication channels open, we aim to build bridges rather than walls, fostering peaceful coexistence between our two nations and their peoples," he concluded.