Over 300 genocide suspects fleeing the Gacaca courts are reported to have fled into Burundi in the past one month.
According to Kirundo Province Governor, Juvenal Muvunyi, people come in small groups and settle into communities, especially in the areas of Bugabira and Ntega in Kirundo Province in the Northern part of the country claiming insecurity.
In an interview with The New Times, Local Government Minister Christopher Bazivamo dismissed their claims saying that most of them have pending Gacaca cases, and not because they risk persecution.
“We are aware of this problem and we are talking with Burundian authorities to have it solved as soon as possible and to also see how these people can be returned home. Otherwise Rwanda is peaceful; there is no security threat as they claim,” Bazivamo said.
He added that they are mainly composed of people who participated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and have cases to answer before Gacaca courts, while others cross over for economic reasons.
“We have had this problem before. Most are just influenced by those fleeing justice. They manipulate and convince them that they could be killed if they remain behind and they just follow them like that.” Bazivamo added.
He said that the two countries are working together on a plan to mainstream cross-border movement to eliminate illegal movements and also make it easy for travellers between the two countries to cross to either country.
Four people of Burundian origin are said to have drowned in River Kanyaru attempting to cross over illegally into Rwanda.