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What next for Rwanda and Burundi relations?

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Protesters march in Burundian capital Bujumbura on July 30, 2016 to demonstrate against a United Nations Security Council decision to send a police contingent to the country. PHOTO | AFP

Protesters march in Burundian capital Bujumbura on July 30, 2016 to demonstrate against a United Nations Security Council decision to send a police contingent to the country. PHOTO | AFP 

By The EastAfrican Team

Posted  Monday, January 2   2017 at  16:59

In Summary

  • Rwanda seems to be avoiding a backlash from the international community by keeping out of the Burundian crisis, having at some point found itself in the spotlight over its alleged support for opposition elements. Kigali vehemently denied backing the rebels.
  • There is little prospect of détente, with Bujumbura insisting that peace talks can only proceed if all countries hosting opposition members fighting the government, including Rwanda, ask them to leave.

“What we have done as a country, to contribute to Burundi’s recovery is to try and stay away from controversies,” said Ms Mushikiwabo.

Rwanda was drawn into the conflict after Burundian officials accused Kigali of recruiting rebels from the thousands of Burundian refugees in Rwanda to fight the government. Rwanda denied the accusations but diplomatic ties between the two neighbours were strained. Observers say the matter is far from over.

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