Rwanda president Paul Kagame has assured his Burundi counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza that Rwanda will not accept to play victims again.
Kagame was addressing a national leadership retreat dubbed: “Umwiherero2016.”
He said Rwanda has never been guilty or associated with the problem of child soldiers.
“Not in Burundi or anywhere else.”
He said the false accusations by the neighbouring Burundi that they were training insurgents to destabilise Nkurunziza government had no bearing.
In February 2016, a leaked UN report claimed Rwanda was training Burundian refugees to overthrow Nkurunziza.
The report was based on evidence from 18 Burundian fighters.
“The unfounded allegations come from the fact that Rwanda has been hosting refugees considered hostile to [the government in Burundi’s capital] Bujumbura,” Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a statement emailed to the BBC.
This month Nkurunziza promised sanctions against people who hide among demonstrators insulting Kagame while speaking in Cibitoke province.
“I denounce and condemn some people who hide amongst demonstrators and who insult Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his country,” Nkurunziza said.
He stressed that Burundian and Rwandan citizens have the right to live in peace and security as they have always been neighbours.
“Rwanda will not accept to be victimized,” Kagame maintained on Saturday.
He added: “A trade was made: remove accusations from us and we can help you accuse someone else. That is how Rwanda was traded.”
He said people who have facts will pretend to believe accusations against Rwanda for their own interests.
According to Kagame, politics is about people and whether one can captivate hearts and minds relative to one’s aspiration and how much one value them.
“Do not get drunk on praises, be happy about it and build on it to achieve more sustainably. What this country has achieved is the result of the sweat of our people. Elites cannot keep abusing the sweat of our people,” he told the leaders.
“You better see yourself as being on your own to deal with your problems. You must own up.”
On corruption, Kagame said human nature will remain the same but there should be no impunity.
“They say we have made progress in corruption and have some the lowest rates, but why be proud to remain with any?”