By Samba Cyuzuzo |BBC News|
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has accused Burundi’s army of fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as he denied claims of deploying his own troops to the region.
Tens of thousands of residents have been displaced in the South Kivu province of DR Congo in a conflict that has escalated in the past few days.
Rwandan and Burundian troops have been accused by locals and foreign non-governmental organisations of fighting alongside rival militia groups in eastern DR Congo.
In a video press conference on Monday, Mr Kagame told journalists that NGOs and observers “don’t look at what is happening there, but want to see Rwandan army presence”.
“Our intelligence collection tells us [that] we have forces from Burundi, government forces, operating in that region.
“There is not a single soldier of Rwandan Defense Force that has gone to that territory…[and] the government of DRC knows the fact that not a single soldier of RDF is there,” Mr Kagame said.
Burundi’s president spokesperson Jean Claude Karerwa denied Mr Kagame claims on Burundi army.
He told the BBC that: “Unless requested by AU or UN, Burundi can’t deploy troops to another country.”
The East African neighbours fell out in May 2015 when a coup attempt against President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi failed, amid claims that some of the plotters fled to Rwanda.