Rwanda has expelled about 400 Burundians back to their country accusing some of them of espionage and fuelling tensions between the two small neighbors whose relations have been strained by Burundi’s political crisis, an official said on Sunday.
It’s the second such expulsion in about a month and brings the total number of Burundians deported over the period to at least 1,700.
One of those expelled, a young man who did not wish to be named for fear he might be targeted, told Reuters Rwandan officials accused some of them of spying for Burundi.
“We were accused of being envoys of Burundi government and sent there to spy on Rwanda,” he said.
Renée Mukandori, a Burundi local government official, confirmed the expulsion to Reuters and said it occurred on Thursday and Friday. Those deported mostly came from the Bugabira district of northern Burundi.
Burundi has accused Rwanda of interfering in its political crisis – which has seen Burundian government forces clash with protesters and rebels who say the president violated the constitution by standing for a third term last year.