Two rebel fighters were killed on Sunday in Rwanda’s south-west region after they launched a cross-border attack from neighbouring Burundi, the army has announced.
In a statement, the Rwandan army said other “assailants” retreated to Burundi, but they managed to recover firearms and two Burundian army uniforms.
The BBC has asked for comment from the Burundi army spokesperson.
The incident comes at a time when 21 people linked to the FLN militia, including its founders Paul #Rusesabagina and Callixte Nsabimana, are on trial in the Rwandan capital Kigali.https://t.co/7SUDHCpphY
— The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) May 24, 2021
This attack happened at a time when both countries are engaged in efforts to normalise relations which have been fraught by historic tension. They have been aggravated in recent years by military confrontations along the border since the 2015 foiled coup in Burundi.
Both countries have also accused each other of supporting rebels and threatening each nation’s security.
Rwanda’s army has blamed the National Liberation Front (FLN) for Sunday’s attack. But the group, which is a coalition of foreign-based opposition parties, the MRDC, say is its military wing, has not commented.
The FLN, which has bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, carried out deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.
Hotel Rwanda film hero Paul Rusesabagina, who is MRDC vice-president, and two former FLN spokespersons, were arrested in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
They are currently facing terrorism charges in Rwandan courts.
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