Using a metaphor, Shingiro described the fluctuating relations as "violent rains and sun destroying fields," expressing hope for a return to "gentle sunshine or good rain." The border closure has sparked disappointment among citizens rebuilding trust in bilateral relations.
Political party UPRONA highlighted potential negative effects, with expert Pascal Niyonizigiye warning of mistrust near borders. UPRONA urged dialogue, cautioning against negative impacts on ordinary citizens.
Rwanda, surprised by the border closure, sees it as a hindrance to free movement and bilateral trade, violating East African Community principles. The decision followed ’unfounded accusations’ by Burundi’s president, accusing Rwanda of supporting the RED-TABARA group in the Gatumba attack—allegations Rwanda denies.
Tensions between Rwanda and Burundi date back to the 2015 political crisis. Efforts to normalize relations in 2020, marked by Rwanda repatriating fighters to Burundi, now face uncertainty due to the recent border closure. The Rwandan government calls for open dialogue to ease current tensions, reaffirming commitment to regional stability.
In response to the broader implications, the East African Community secretariat urged EAC partner states to resolve disputes amicably, emphasizing good neighborliness and the shared destiny of East African people.