Security forces in Burundi have paraded a man accused of being a Rwandan spy before journalists, as tensions between the two countries simmer amid a ten-month-long political crisis.
The man, whose name was given as Corporal Rucyahintare Cyprien, was arrested on Monday near the Rwandan border, according to police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye.
“He was on a spying mission and it was the third such mission he carried out in Burundi,” said Nkurikiye, who added that the missions were intended to “destabilise” the country.
He was on a spying mission and it was the third such mission he carried out in Burundi.
Relations between Burundi and Rwanda are at an all-time low, with Bujumbura accusing Kigali of supporting Burundian rebels.
Burundi was plunged into crisis following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term which he went on to win in a July 2015 election.
The man, in his thirties, previously entered Burundi in May 2015 to help extract the plotters of a failed coup, and once again in November 2015 to gather information for attacks against VIPs in the country, according to Nkurikiye.
He was presented to the media at the offices of the National Intelligence Service (SNR), an agency regularly accused of human rights abuses, torture and extra-judicial killings.
Officials alleged that his latest mission in Burundi was to negotiate with an order of nuns to determine if they would be willing to hide 200 fighters involved in attacks in the country.
More than 400 people have been killed since the violence erupted in April and more than 240,000 have fled.
Thousands of Rwandans who lived in Burundi have fled the country since the start of the crisis after several arrests within their community.