The Rwandan government claims that Burundi has decided to close its border with the East African country, just weeks after Burundi’s president accused Rwanda of harboring a rebel group.
Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye accused Rwanda of housing and training the Red Tabara rebel group, which claimed responsibility for an offensive along Burundi’s western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in late December.
Rwanda has denied his claims.
A government official claimed Rwanda heard about Burundi’s decision through media reports, and that it violated the rules of a regional bloc to which both countries belong.
Relations between some nations within the bloc have been frosty for years amid domestic disputes, which also include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.
Burundi has said the December attack claimed the lives of 20 people while Red Tabara, the rebel group said on social media platform X that it only killed nine soldiers and a police officer.
Red Tabara has been battling Burundi’s government from bases in eastern Congo since 2015.