Rwanda is to relocate Burundian refugees to other countries, the government said Friday, amid accusations Kigali was meddling in the affairs of its troubled neighbour.
“The government of Rwanda… will immediately begin working with partners in the international community to plan the orderly and safe relocation of Burundian refugees to third countries,” the statement read.
Last week, UN experts told the Security Council that Rwanda has recruited and trained refugees from Burundi, among them children, who wanted to remove Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza from power.
Burundi has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing rebels’ intent of overthrowing the government in Bujumbura. Kigali has fiercely denied the accusations.
“Rwanda readily shoulders its obligations to protect and care for refugees,” the government statement said.
“However, experience in the Great Lakes is that the long-term presence of refugees so close to their country of origin carries considerable risks for all involved.”
Burundi has been in turmoil since Nkurunziza announced plans in April to run for a third term, which he succeeded. Hundreds of people have been killed and at least 230,000 have fled the country.