Minembwe: the Burundian army threatens to attack the Twirwaneho armed group

Minembwe: the Burundian army threatens to attack the Twirwaneho armed group

Soldiers of the FDNB (Burundi National Defense Force) posted in South Kivu in the east of the DRC are increasing attacks against local and foreign armed groups. This Wednesday, they announced that they wanted to attack posts of the Twirwaneho armed group made up of young Banyamulenge. But they gave them the chance to withdraw from Minembwe, an area populated by members of the Banyamulenge community, the only way not to expose themselves to hostilities. Representatives of the Banyamulenge who fear an ethnic cleansing believe that if Twirwaneho leaves Minembwe, the Mai-Mai and FARDC will attack them. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Representatives of the Burundian army in South Kivu met with local chiefs from the localities of Runundu, Ilundu and Kivumu. These are localities in the Minembwe area located in the territory of Fizi in the province of South Kivu in the east of the DRC.

“They sent us to tell the young Twirwaneho fighters to leave their posts in Minembwe or they will be killed.

For Banyamulenge representatives, “if Twirwaneho fighters leave our villages, we will be attacked by FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic) and the Mai-Mai as they usually do”.

The Burundian army has been stationed in South Kivu officially since mid-August 2022. It is there as part of the EAC regional force decided by Heads of State of the East African community in June this year to fight local and foreign armed groups that swarm in eastern Congo.

In this part of Congo, two Burundian armed groups, the Red-Tabara considered by Burundian authorities as a terrorist group and the FNL (National Liberation Forces) of ousted General Aloys Nzabampema are installed there. In recent months, the Burundian military has intensified attacks against these two armed groups, with each side claiming victory.

During his public conference on December 31, Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye indicated that “rebels settled in the bush in Congo but who no longer want to disturb their country have already shown the intention to return to their homeland” affirming that “talks with the UN are underway to see in what framework they can be repatriated”. Recently, the Congolese army also asked Twirwaneho to leave Minembwe to “avoid unnecessary losses”. But the armed group and customary chiefs announced “feared an ethnic cleansing” being prepared in the area.

The customary Banyamulenge chiefs seized the EAC. Twirwaneho and other local groups took part in the third round of talks in Nairobi (Kenya) last December. But they refused to lay down their arms arguing that “we are here to protect our communities against aggression from foreign rebel groups and cannot lay down their arms as long as they are on the Congolese soil”.

Previous Mahama (Rwanda): the health component entrusted to “Save the children”
Next Burundi: sixty-six cholera cases already detected (ministry)