Political tensions between the Rwanda and Burundi has been simmering since 2015 following Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial third-term election, which led to an influx of Burundian refugees into Rwanda.
The relationship between Burundi and Rwanda has been sour with, with Burundi accusing Rwanda of aiding a failed coup attempted on President Nkurunziza, and Rwanda accusing Burundi of cross border attacks.
Rwanda has distanced itself from Uganda and Burundi to maintain better relations with its only other East Africa Community member states such as Kenya and Tanzania, with Burundi being its latest victim.
With Uganda, Rwanda closed its borders after accusing it of of hosting opposers of Rwanda policies forcing Uganda cargo to get stuck on the border. In retaliation, Uganda deported Rwandans accusing them of engaging in undercover operations.
Communication made by Rwanda’s Military commander, General Mubalaka Muganga, has warned Rwanda citizens bordering Burundi on the South not to cross the border as the Burundians have become hostile to them putting their lives at risk. He also urged them to keep a close eye on their partners and neighbors on the other side.
“No one is to get to the other side even in the case of marriage.Look for for partners here at home, on the other side the ground is slippery,” he cautioned the citizens
As for the natural forest of Gako, extending to Burundi, the General issued a stern warning to Burundians with fear that they could use it to orchestrate an attack on Rwanda citizens.
“We warn you. Forget any reason you want to go to this natural forest, whether it’s fetching firewood, grazing or whatever. Going there may be considered as an act of rebellion or being shot. As a military commander, I warn you! Whoever is caught will not have the chance to tell others, we will not even present him or her to the police, rather we will immobilize him or her here, “ warned General Mubalaka.