Burundi officials expel Rwandan diplomat

Oct 08, 2015, 2:31 AM EDT
Relations between Rwanda's Paul Kagame (L) and Burundi's Pierre Nkurunziza (R) have soured in recent years.
AFP/Getty Images

Burundi has expelled a Rwandan diplomat, whom it accuses of destabilising the country, a Burundian official has told the BBC.

Desire Nyaruhirira had been a top adviser at the Rwandan embassy in Burundi for many years. The expulsion comes amid worsening relations between the east African neighbours.

Last week, Burundi accused Rwanda of training rebels seeking to destabilise the country, allegations it denies. The Burundian official, who told the BBC Great Lakes service why Mr Nyaruhirira had been expelled, requested not to be named. Rwanda has not commented on the expulsion.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has criticised the decision of his Burundian counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a controversial third term in office.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated further after Burundi accused Rwanda of hosting failed coup leader Gen Godefroid Niyombare, who tried to seize power in May.

Burundi has been hit by a spate of assassinations and attempted assassinations since Mr Nkurunziza won disputed elections in July. About 70,000 Burundians are living in refugee camps in Rwanda after fleeing the unrest.