Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Saturday met with defence chiefs amid evolving security threats in the region, Chimp Corps report.
Kagame told Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) High Command Council at the Military Academy in Gako to “strive to sustain and upscale the hard-earned security and RDF’s contribution to national socio-economic transformation.”
The meeting comes amid rising tension between Burundi and Rwanda over alleged mutual support of armed movements in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A day before the High Command meeting, Rwandan and Burundian forces exchanged gunfire on Lake Rweru.
A Burundian soldier was reportedly killed in the fighting.
Rwanda’s defence ministry said on Friday 8 May 2020, in Rweru sector of Bugesera district in the Eastern Province, a group of fishermen from Burundi “illegally crossed into the Rwandan waters in Lake Rweru.”
According to the statement, “While Rwanda Defence Force was ordering the fishermen to return back to their country, Burundian soldiers intervened from their side and started shooting at RDF; which retaliated. Rwanda Defence Force suffered no casualties during the gunfire exchange and the attackers returned back to Burundi.”
Rwanda said the borderline between Rwanda and Burundi is a known demarcation line in the middle of Lake Rweru that is easily identifiable using technology like the GPS.
The Burundian government is yet to issue a formal statement on the clash.
However, Burundian officials who spoke on several radio stations said Kigali is provoking Gitega and undermining the ruling party ahead of the May 20 vote.
Burundi considers Rwanda a hostile neighbour for reportedly masterminding a failed coup against Nkurunziza in 2015 and providing sanctuary to Burundian dissident generals.
On the other hand, Kigali accuses Gitega of supporting rebels seeking to overthrow president Kagame from power.
The meeting at Gako was attended by the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Division, Brigade and Unit Commanders, Commandants of Military schools and Hospital, Joint General Staff and Heads of Departments from the RDF Headquarters and other junior officers and lower level commanders of RDF units.