Burundi, Rwanda urged to quell tensions peacefully

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The East African Community (EAC) trade bloc has urged authorities in Burundi and Rwanda to adopt peaceful means of resolving their differences for the good of the region.

The call by the trade bloc’s Secretary General, Peter Mathuki, comes a day after Burundi announced the closure of its border with Rwanda over accusations that the Kigali administration was supporting rebels seeking to topple its government.

Tensions between Burundi and Rwanda rose last December after a rebel attack on Burundian soil left 20 people dead.

A Burundian rebel group known as RED-Tabara claimed responsibility for that attack.

The President of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye, accused Rwanda of backing the rebels who are based in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda has denied the claim.

On Thursday, Burundi’s Internal Affairs Minister, Martin Niteretse, announced the country was closing their border with Rwanda and suspending diplomatic ties.

Rwanda has described the move as unfortunate and said it violates the free movement of people and goods within the two countries.

More details in the report below: 

-Report by Chris Ocamringa