Rwanda doubts Burundi wants to normalise ties

Rwanda’s foreign minister has expressed doubts on the willingness of neighbouring Burundi to normalise diplomatic ties.

This follows last week’s remarks by Burundi’s new President Evariste Ndayishimiye that his country “will never have relations with a country that uses irony” in its relations.

Ndayishimiye accused Rwanda of “holding hostage” nearly 72,000 Burundian refugees.

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta on Wednesday denied the accusations.

The refugees fled to Rwanda in 2015 during Burundi’s political crisis after a declaration by former President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would vie for controversial third term.

The repatriation of the refugees has been a sticking point between the neighbours. The two countries have also accused each other of harbouring their respective enemies.

Biruta also said that Rwanda wants good relations with its neighbours, especially Burundi, but expressed “doubts” on the country’s willingness to normalise relations.


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