By Timothy Sibasi, firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA – After failing to fuel violence in DRC through financing and abetting the M23 rebels in 2013 which was purely a formation of Rwanda and Uganda, the man behind the lines was left with no option but to embark on a mission that has left scores of lives lost in the Burundi crisis.
The motive remains unknown but from interviews conducted its glaring that Rwanda played a central role in causing a mutiny that has of let seen Burundi terminate its membership from the ICC in fear of having some of its top ranking military officers tried in the Hague for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity that UN investigators have found to have been hatched in Rwanda.
A dossier obtained in a notebook of a US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Thomas Pierriello, leaves many wondering why Rwanda had an interest in fueling conflict in the war ravaged East African nation of Burundi in its neighborhood.
Piece meals of his dossier to the US law makers reveals credible reports that, “Rwanda is recruiting and training Burundian refugees as rebels to join Burundi’s armed opposition against President Pierre Nkurunziza.” Says Thomas Pierrillo in his dossier to US law makers in DC.
The dossier also reveals that the Envoy had met with three Burundian child soldiers in the DRC who alleged that they were recruited in a Rwandan refugee camp, trained and led to fight in their home country.
As the dossier came into light after a confidential report to the United Nations Security Council Rwanda was also accused of meddling in Burundi’s affairs.
“We have called on the Rwandan government to investigate these reports, uphold the strictly civilian character of refugee camps and hold accountable those responsible for unlawful conduct. Any effort to recruit combatants, whether children or adults, out of refugee camps is completely unacceptable.” says Thomas Pierrillo.
As a result of malice and sabotage more than 200,000 people have been displaced from Burundi due to this conflict, the report says, adding that Some 440 people, including civilians, have been killed since Nkurunziza decided to stand for a third term.
A report by U.N. experts who monitor sanctions on the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been seen by All East Africa last week, cites accounts from several Burundian rebel fighters who told the experts the training was done in a forest camp in Rwanda. The report said the U.N. experts had spoken with 18 Burundian combatants, including six children, in eastern Congo’s South Kivu province. The rebels told them they were trained in military tactics, how to use of assault rifles and machine guns, grenades, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
“They all told the group that they had been recruited in the Mahama Refugee Camp in eastern Rwanda in May and June 2015 and were given two months of military training by instructors, who included Rwandan military personnel,” the U.N. experts wrote in the report. “They reported that their ultimate goal was to remove Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza from power.”
This is not the first time Rwanda has been accused of supporting insurgents. In December, Burundi accused its neighbor of supporting a rebel group that was recruiting Burundian refugees on Rwandan soil.
In December 2016, Rwandan President Paul Kagame dismissed allegations by Burundi that his country was recruiting Burundian rebels on Rwandan soil as “childish.”
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