Belgium and Rwanda are closely collaborating with people who attempted to stage the 2015 coup plot in Burundi and are arming refugees to disrupt Burundi’s security, a senior Burundian government official said Saturday.
Therence Ntahiraja, assistant to the Burundian home affairs minister, was speaking after a demonstration staged by thousands of citizens in the streets of the country’s capital Bujumbura.
The aim of the demonstration was to denounce the role of Rwanda and Belgium in backing “coup plotters” and arming refugees living in Tanzania and Rwanda.
“The two countries are responsible for the assassination of several Burundian leaders like our independence hero Prince Louis Rwagasore. We call on the United Nations to tell the two countries to stop provoking us,” said Ntahiraja.
According to him, both countries are distributing arms to Burundian refugees living in Tanzania and Rwanda.
“Three days ago, over 42 guns were seized inside Nduta refugee camp in Tanzania and less than one month ago, nine persons were caught telling people inside Nduta refugee camp not to return to their homes in Burundi,” said Ntahiraja.
Relations between Burundi and the two countries have deteriorated since April 2015 when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that ended a decade-long civil war.
In December 2016, the Burundian government recalled the Burundian ambassador to Belgium over deteriorating relations between two countries.
Belgium was accused of hosting some Burundian citizens who staged a failed coup on May 13, 2015 and who are destabilizing the Burundian government by supporting “insurgents.”
The Burundian government also accused Belgian authorities of “influencing all decisions” taken by the European Union (EU) against the Burundian government and Burundian citizens.
On the other hand, Burundi accused Rwanda of hosting and supporting perpetrators of the plot.