Rwanda Denies Involvement in Grenade Attacks in Burundi

President Paul Kagame and his Burundian counterpart Evariste Ndayishimiye

In a statement from the Office of the Government Spokesperson of Rwanda, the Rwandan authorities have firmly denied any involvement in the grenade attacks that have recently occurred in Bujumbura, Burundi. This official stance came after the Burundi Ministry of Interior accused Rwanda of orchestrating these attacks, which have led to numerous casualties.

The press release from Kigali, dated 12 May 2024, emphasized, “There is clearly something wrong for the Burundian government to accuse Rwanda of the recent grenade explosions in Bujumbura. We have absolutely no connection with these incidents and no reason to be involved.”

These strong accusations from Burundi came to light during a press conference held on 11 May by the spokesperson for the Burundian Ministry of Interior. The spokesperson detailed three separate grenade attacks in Bujumbura, the latest of which occurred last night at a bus station in the heart of the city, injuring 38 people, with five suffering serious injuries.

The Burundian official narrated the events calmly, with Pierre Nkurikiye, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Security, presenting six individuals, aged between 28 to 56, accused of involvement in these grenade attacks. According to Burundian authorities, these individuals are part of a foreign-supported destabilization network, with alleged training and armament provided by Rwanda.

The Rwandan government, however, contests these allegations, pointing out that Burundian rebels have historically launched attacks not from Rwanda but from South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda’s response further called on Burundi to “solve its own internal problems and not associate Rwanda with such despicable matters.”

Adding to the complexity, the rebel group RED-Tabara issued a statement denying any involvement in the attacks, emphasizing their policy of not targeting innocent civilians.