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Kagame Fires Back at Burundi’s Ndayishimiye over ‘Rebel Support’ Claims

No Truth Whatsoever in Burundian President’s Allegation Referring to Rwanda – Kagame Government Spokesperson  

Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye and Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Courtesy Photos

President Paul Kagame’s Rwandan government has fired back at Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye over claims that Kigali supports rebels that killed at least 20 people on December 22.

The deadly attack happened in Vugizo town close to the border with DR Congo. It is here that the Red-Tabara rebels have a base. Burundi’s government said 12 children, three women and five men were killed in the attack.

Five of the deceased children were under the age of five; two of the women killed were pregnant, while one of the deceased men was a police officer. The Red-Tabara rebel group claimed it had killed nine military and one police man were killed in the attack on Vugizo border post, according to a tweet on X, formerly Twitter.


On December 29, President Ndayishimiye said Rwanda was responsible for supporting the Red-Tabara group of rebels who have been launching attacks against Burundi.

Speaking at an event in eastern Burundi, Ndayishimiye explicitly blamed Kigali for backing the Red-Tabara rebels.

“These armed groups have been provided with shelter, food, offices and money from the country that hosts them. I mean Rwanda. People who kill ordinary citizens, what do they want? Why kill three-year-olds, a child who is still in his mother’s womb. They are terrorists. And we must fight them with all our energy,” said the president.

Ndayishimiye warned that Kagame’s Rwanda was sowing seeds of hatred with Bujumbura.

“I told Rwanda it should know that if it continues to help someone who kills children, it is cultivating the virus of hatred between the peoples of these two countries. I think the future is bleak for this country that is helping them,” he noted.


In a statement from the office of the government spokesperson, Rwanda dismissed Ndayishimiye’s claims that Kigali was backing Red-Tabara rebels troubling Burundi. Kigali denied any links to Red-Tabara. The office said there was “no truth whatsoever in Burundian president’s allegation referring to Rwanda.”

“The Government of Rwanda rejects  comments by H.E. Évariste Ndayishimiye, President of the Republic of Burundi, alleging Rwandan support for Burundian armed rebel groups based in Eastern DRC. Rwanda is not associated, in any way, with any Burundian armed group,” read the statement in part.

Ndayishimiye also accused Kigali of refusing to honor his plea for Rwanda to hand over the Red-Tabara rebels. Yet Kagame’s Rwanda said it has previously cooperated. Kigali has urged Bujumbura to deploy diplomatic means to resolve the thorny issue.

“It should be recalled that, in the spirit of mutual cooperation, the Government of Rwanda has previously handed over, through the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism, Burundian combatants who illegally crossed into Rwanda,” said the office of the government spokesperson.

“The Government of Rwanda urges the Government of Burundi to address their concerns through diplomatic channels where they can be resolved amicably.”

But it’s not only Burundi accusing Rwanda of backing rebels. Even DR Congo has the same accusation against Rwanda’s Kagame. During election campaign, DR Congo president Felix Tshisekedi compared Kagame to Hitler and threatened to attack Rwanda. Tshisekedi also recalled envoys to Kenya, raising fears that Congo could plunge the region into war. (See Details Here and There).

Meanwhile, Burundi’s President Ndayishimiye has sparked anger from the West after he said homosexuals should be stoned to death. (Read Story Here).

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