This announcement follows a press conference on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, where Burundi’s President, Evariste Ndayishimiye, indirectly suggested the possible re-closure of borders between the two nations.
Ndayishimye accused Rwanda of supporting the RED Tabara group, responsible for a recent attack on Burundi through the Gatumba area on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Despite the rebels entering Burundi from a border unrelated to Rwanda, Ndayishimiye claimed that since 2015, when suspected coup plotters sought refuge in Rwanda, they were assisted in recovery and provided with equipment.
The Rwandan government promptly dismissed these accusations, asserting that the issues between Burundi and Rwanda should not be entangled.
They emphasized the longstanding relationship between the two nations, rejecting any disturbance to it.
Ndayishimiye’s request to Rwanda is to extradite those accused of attempting to overthrow the Burundian government, who sought refuge in Rwanda since 2015—an action Rwanda claims violates international laws governing refugees.
Ndikuriyo acknowledged efforts to engage with the Rwandan government, advocating for the return of those accused. He emphasized that if tried individuals are imprisoned and Rwanda abides by international laws, concerns about harboring criminals would be addressed. Despite existing disagreements, Ndikurio stressed the importance of dialogue.
As the leader of the CNDD-FDD Party, Ndikurio pledged to initiate discussions with counterparts in the RPF Inkotanyi in Rwanda to seek a resolution. He emphasized the need for dialogue, expressing doubt that individuals with significant life experiences would jeopardize the historical relations between the two countries.
These relations were restored in 2021 when borders were reopened. Despite Burundi accusing Rwanda of sheltering coup plotters, it also accused Rwanda of supporting those aiming to disrupt security.
Since 2017, the FLN group has been launching attacks on Rwanda from Burundi. Notably, leaders of the FLN, Paul Rusesabagina and Nsabimana Callixte, revealed that senior soldiers in Burundi aided the group.