Burundi denies presence of Rwandan military

Bujumbura- Burundi (PANA) -- The military in Burundi Thursday issued a flat denial of reports that Rwandan soldiers were in the country, after pursuing rebel Hutu forces beyond the border into Burundi.
The rebuttal came after Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) spokesman Jerome Ndiho publicly claimed that elements of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (APR) were fighting right inside Burundian territory alongside government troops.
Burundi Army spokesman Col.
Augustine Nzabampema dismissed the claim, charging that because it was having difficulties fighting government forces, the FDD was "inventing excuses for its losses on the battle front".
In the struggle to seize or retain power, suspicion is rife between the rebel Hutus and ruling Tutsis in both Rwanda and Burundi, about the one seeking political and military coalition with its ethnic kind in the other country.

21 september 2001 20:59:00




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