Rwanda’s foreign minister has expressed doubts on the willingness of neighboring Burundi to normalize diplomatic ties.
This comes after last week’s remarks by Burundi’s new President Evariste Ndayishimiye that his country “will never have relations with a country that uses irony” in its relations.
Ndayishimiye accused Rwanda of “holding hostage” nearly 72,000 Burundian refugees.
Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta on Wednesday denied the accusations.
The refugees fled to Rwanda in 2015 during Burundi’s political crisis following a declaration by former President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would vie for a controversial third term.
The repatriation of the refugees has been a sticking point between the neighbours.
The two countries also accuse each other of harbouring their respective enemies.
Biruta told journalists in the capital, Kigali, that Rwanda wants good relations with its neighbors – especially Burundi – but expressed “doubts” on the country’s willingness to normalize relations.