Cibitoke : over 40 Rwandan rebels killed by the Burundian army

Cibitoke : over 40 Rwandan rebels killed by the Burundian army

At least 42 rebels belonging to a Kinyarwanda-speaking armed group established for more than a decade in the Kibira natural reserve in the districts of Mabayi and Bukinanyana in the province of Cibitoke (North-Western Burundi) were killed during clashes with Burundian soldiers. According to our sources, the fighting has been intense for the past three weeks.The governor of Cibitoke province confirms this information but refuses to reveal the identity of this group of rebels based in Kibira. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Intense fighting over the past three weeks in the Kibira natural forest in the districts of Mabayi and Bukinanyana between rebels of the FLN (National Liberation Front-a rebel group of Rwandan origin) and the FDNB (National Defense Force of Burundi) caused several material and human damages.

“At least 42 Rwandan rebels were killed and about thirty others seriously wounded and captured on the battlefield. We deplore a dozen Burundian soldiers killed and 11 others wounded who are currently receiving intensive care but their lives is not in danger”, said a security source on condition of anonymity.

Our sources also add supporting evidence that several small and large caliber weapons have been seized since September 26, 2022, the date of the official launch of offensive attacks by the Burundian army against the FLN.

Population displacementThese fights caused the departure of inhabitants of the villages of Rutorero, Gafumbegeti and Ngara as well as the villages of Bumba and Ruhemba, respectively from the districts of Mabayi and Bukinanyana.

“Now with all my family of 11 people, we have left our house towards the center of the district of Mabayi where we have found refuge”, indicates an octogenarian visibly terrified by these fights.

For the moment, all our sources converge to say that fear is observed among inhabitants close to the combat zone in Kibira following strong explosions of heavy weapons in recent days.

Despite all this and unfortunately, as an administration source clearly states, there is a certain complicity of inhabitants with these Rwandan rebels who exchange food for gold illegally exploited in the Kibira natural reserve by the FLN. According to this source, Imbonerakure (members of the youth league of the ruling CNDD-FDD party), are involved in the illicit gold trade in collaboration with these rebels. At least 8 people have already been arrested, accused of collaborating with these rebels who speak Kinyarwanda, in recent months.

These Kinyarwanda-speaking rebels who have come in large numbers from the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) in recent days to launch attacks against our northern neighbor unfortunately benefit, as a highly placed source indicates, “from the support of certain elements within the Burundian army”.

The source mentions leaks of information from military intelligence.Residents of southwestern Rwanda satisfied with operations against FLN.

The current military operations are widely welcomed by border populations. “We applauded with both hands the action carried out by soldiers of the Burundian army against these troublemakers who sow terror and desolation among peaceful citizens on both sides of the border of our two countries”, rejoices a young Rwandan mother from the locality of Bweyeye in the Rusizi region in South-Western Rwanda.

The governor of Cibitoke province confirms this information and speaks instead of routine military operations aimed at dismantling a group of criminals whose identity he did not want to designate. Regarding Burundian soldiers who have already died and been wounded on the battlefield, Carême Bizoza denies this information before refusing to comment on this matter.

Various military sources have confirmed to our editorial staff a good collaboration between the Burundian and Rwandan armies in tracking down armed groups based in the Kibira natural reserve and able to move in that of Nyungwe (Rwandan side).

For the past two years, the Rwandan army has accused the FDNB of allowing rebels fighting the Rwandan government to use the Burundian territory to attack Rwanda and retreat, which the Burundian army has always denied.

Several meetings of regional commanders of the two armies have been organized on the border of the two sister nations of the Great Lakes region of Africa since President Évariste Ndayishimiye came to power in June 2020 to find solutions.

Burundi, for its part, accuses Rwanda of letting armed opponents carry out military training on its soil and using it to attack it.

Heads of military intelligence also met on several occasions. The meetings resulted in the exchange of rebels.

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