Rwanda denies claims of providing refuge to armed Burundi rebels
Saturday July 18 2015
Suspected rebels at the Ndora military camp in Bukinanyana in northern Cibitoke Province on July 13, 2015 after being arrested by the Burundian army. PHOTO | AFP
Claims that Rwanda is providing refuge to Burundians who plan to launch a rebellion against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government could strain relations between the two countries.
Canisius Ndayimanisha, the governor of Kayanza Province, said the rebels had entered Burundi from Rwanda and engaged the Burundian army, leaving 31 rebels dead and 170 captured. Six government soldiers were injured in the fighting and a cache of arms seized.
Rwandan officials also dismissed claims that the fighting, which took place in Kayanza and Cibitoke provinces, was “near” Rwanda.
Kibira National Park stretches from the Rwandan border deep into Burundi. The rebels are said to have taken advantage of the thick vegetation to push through to within kilometres of the capital Bujumbura.