Burundi: Report accuses Rwandan military of training Burundi rebels

| February 15, 2016

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A confidential report to the United Nations Security Council accuses Rwanda of recruiting and training Burundian refugees with the goal of ousting Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The report cites accounts from 18 Burundian fighters in eastern Congo’s South Kivu Province. The rebel fighters claim that Rwandan military personnel trained them in a forest camp in Rwanda.

Nkurunziza’s re-election to a third term last year sparked Burundi’s crisis and raised concerns that there could be a bloody ethnic conflict in a region where memories of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide are still fresh.

The charity Refugees International said in a December report that it was “deeply concerned” by claims of Burundian refugees in Rwanda that they were being recruited by “non-state armed groups.”

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Photo: A group of Burundian refugees waits for a soap and blanket distribution at Gashora, Rwanda, 10 April, 2015. Credit: STEPHANIE AGLIETTI / AFP