Rwandans held in Burundi released

Captured rebels in the July attack in Northwestern region paraded, Burundi has accused Rwanda of hosting anti-government factions

Captured rebels in the July attack in Northwestern region paraded, Burundi has accused Rwanda of hosting anti-government factions

The Rwandan ambassador to Burundi, Ambassador Amandin Rugira has confirmed that at least 14 of the 30 Rwandans illegally held in Burundi have been released.

The 14 Rwandans are among those that were identified during an investigation that was conducted by the embassy, last week.

This comes after Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo said on her Twitter handle that “the Rwandan government has raised the issue with Burundian government in many ways, including with its ambassador to Rwanda.

“They were released recently but information we have is that several people remain in jail and are held by intelligence services,” Amb Rugira said.

Earlier on a Rwandan journalist Etienne Besabesa- who worked for Radio Izuba, Radio Flash and Igihe.com was also arrested and charged for espionage before being released and allowed to return home.

Even with the increasing political turmoil in Burundi, many Rwandan transport operators still ferry passengers (Burundians and Rwandans) across the two borders.

Rwanda is host to more than 89,000 Burundian refugees but the Bujumbura authorities believe Rwanda is somewhat involved in fueling the conflict that has destabilised the central African nation since April.

The continued arrest of Rwandans operating in Burundi may cause more tensions between the two countries at a time when Burundi has accused Rwanda for hosting anti- President Pierre Nkurunziza factions, an accusation that the Kigali government has constantly and vehemently denied.

In July, Burundian authorities revealed an armed group clashed with the army in the commune of Kabarore near the border with Rwanda extending to Bukinanyana commune in Cibitoke.

Eye-witness residents in the area reported seeing an armed group from Rwanda estimated between 300-400 men in military uniform infiltrating into Burundi territory. The Burundian military however, claimed it killed 31 suspected rebels and captured dozens in the heavy gunfight that lasted for 2 days.