In a meeting with Rwandan President Kagame, Bathily, Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, reiterates the UN Secretary-General’s condemnation of the current violence in Burundi. Bathily will continue to hold consultations with political parties, civil society and religious organizations, government officials and the diplomatic community, with the view to reconvene the political dialogue as soon as possible. Bathily:
[The situation in Burundi is accumulating] the well-known and visible marks of a society which previously suffered divisions leading to grave violence. Currently the humanitarian crisis caused by the escalating political tensions in Burundi has worsened, and uptick in the number of refugees seeking asylum and a deterioration in health conditions at refugee camps receiving them.
Soldiers and unidentified gunmen clash in Kayanza province, near the border with Rwanda. The governor of Kayanza says the gunmen crossed from Rwanda, a charge denied by Rwanda’s government. The US is:
deeply concerned by reports that fighting has broken out in several areas of Burundi and by recently broadcast remarks by Burundians threatening to use force against the government.
Rwandan foreign minister:
I would think it’s better for Burundi to concentrate on the issues Burundi has rather than looking for issues elsewhere.
Heads of state of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, plus South African President Zuma meet in Tanzania to discuss a political crisis in Burundi triggered by the president’s plan to run for a third term. Nkurunziza doesn’t attend, and is represented by the country’s foreign minister, Aime. Rwanda also sends a minister rather than the head of state. The leaders call for the postponement of elections by at least a month and a half. Tanzania’s President Kikwete:
The leaders have been trying to navigate our way so we can help the people of Burundi to land safely under the current circumstances.
More than 5,000 Burundians flee to Rwanda over the weekend bringing the total number of arrivals to nearly 21,000. The Rwandan government expects the number of Burundians arriving in the country to rise to 50,000. Most of the arrivals in Rwanda are women and children, adding that the refugees report facing intimidation and threats of violence linked to upcoming elections. Rwanda, which is already hosting more than 74,000 refugees mainly from neighbouring DR Congo, has allocated land in Mahama in the Eastern Province for a new refugee camp, with the capacity to hold up to 50,000 people. UN agencies:
There has been a sharp increase in the number of Burundian refugees arriving in Rwanda…Five thousand people entering the country in two days is quite a significant jump… It is certainly concerning…The situation is quite chaotic at the moment…We think that this violence might continue and this fear of violence might continue and that there might be a bigger outflux, particularly to Rwanda.
Another 3,800 Burundians have fled to the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo since the beginning of July.
Rwanda accuses the station of genocide denial after it airs the documentary Rwanda’s Untold Story, which criticizes Kagame and alleges that the RPF shot down former president Habyarimana’s plane. It includes interviews with two researchers who claim that thousands of Hutus were killed by Tutsis in the leadup to the massacre that killed 20% of the country at a faster rate than the Holocaust. It claims a UN report echoing similar concerns was also repressed. Lawmakers have called for the FM licence the BBC uses to broadcast across the country — in English, Kinyarwanda and French — to be pulled and the program’s producer and presenter be charged with genocide denial, a punishable crime in the country.
Rwanda requires visitors who have been in the United States or Spain in the previous 22 days to be screened upon arrival in the country. Visitors are examined upon entry and those with temperatures are asked to leave. Visitors without temperatures are required to report their health conditions daily. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s health minister:
It is definitely extra work for us. We have to ensure that all citizens or any other travelers arriving from the above mentioned countries including the U.S have to be screened in an extra careful manner and follow up on them during their stay.