Rwanda Blocks Her Citizens from Going to Burundi Saying It’s “an Act of Rebellion”

Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame.

Burundi is the latest country that Rwanda has restricted its citizens from traveling to only weeks after it (Rwanda) advised and prevented Rwandans from crossing to Uganda.

The communication was made in a security meeting by a senior military officer, ordering all residents of areas bordering Burundi, not to cross the border into Burundi which neighbors Rwanda to the south.

The military commander of the Rwandan eastern part, General Mubalaka Muganga told the residents on Wednesday that Burundi had turned hostile against Rwandans and thus, moving there would put their life at risk.

“No way to get to the other side. Even in case of marriage, look for partners here at home because, on the other side, the ground is slippery,” said Gen Muganga.

“You also know that security is above all, our neighbours are not good now. Keep an eye on your friends and partners on the other side, and do not go there until things are improved,” he added.

Muganga also asked the people of Burundi not to frequent the natural forest of Gako, which extends to Burundi. He says the forest may be used by Rwanda’s enemies to attack Rwanda “because its extension goes to Burundi.”

“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 immobilise him or her here,” he said.

Burundi and Rwanda have have traded counter accusations which prompted the former to openly declare Rwanda an enemy state. The Bujumbura administration accused Kigali of aiding a failed coup attempt against president Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015.

Rwanda has also accused Burundi of cross-border attacks in Nyabitama.

For Uganda’s case, Kigali accuses Kampala of hosting dissidents hostile to Rwanda, accusations authorities in Uganda have denied.

Rwanda recently closed its borders with Uganda. Over 100 Ugandan cargo trucks have been stuck at Katuna border. A number of Rwandans have been deported from Uganda for engaging in under cover operations that undermine Uganda’s National Security.

Another Rwandan, Rene Rutagungira, is facing the General Court Martial in Uganda for kidnapping and illegally repatriating back to Rwanda, the former body guard of President Kagame, Lt. Mutabazi who was a refugee in Uganda. Rutagungira is also suspected of having taken part in the murder of Ugandan prosecutor, Joan Kagezi.

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