Cibitoke : Burundian soldiers injured in the DRC hospitalized in the provincial military camp

Cibitoke : Burundian soldiers injured in the DRC hospitalized in the provincial military camp

Many wounded Burundian soldiers were repatriated via the river Rusizi, bordering the DRC, on the 6th Avenue, Kaburantwa village, in the district of Buganda in the province of Cibitoke (northwest Burundi), on the night of 5 to March 6. Residents of this area noticed passing trucks and say they learned that it was to transport wounded soldiers from the highlands of the Itombwe sector in the territory of Mwenga in the province of South Kivu in the east. of the DRC. The soldiers were injured during fighting against Burundian rebel armed groups : Red Tabara and FNL (National Liberation Forces). The commander of the 112th infantry battalion in Cibitoke denies the facts. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

At least four soldiers were seriously injured during the recent fighting between the Burundian regular army (FDNB) and Burundian rebels of the FNL, claiming to be the fallen general Aloys Nzabampema.

They are currently receiving intensive care at Cibitoke’s 112th Battalion barrack.

According to a military source who requested anonymity, the injured were among about 20 soldiers who were attacked in a surprise manner.

“We fell into an ambush”, reveals one of the survivors who is receiving intensive care at the Cibitoke camp.

According to information from the inhabitants of Ntunda, Rusabagi in the Sange groupment living in the Rusizi plain, Uvira territory in South Kivu, most of Burundian soldiers killed are buried directly and discreetly on the Congolese soil.

The same residents are intervening to transport the dead and injured soldiers across the Rusizi to Burundi as helicopters rotate for the same job.

Fear is observed for the moment among the inhabitants close to the border along the river Rusizi.

According to an octogenarian

from the 6th Avenue in Buganda, this fear is “caused by intense nocturnal movements of Burundian soldiers who cross the border towards the DR Congo and also military trucks that come to pick up their fellows from the middle and high plateaus of South Kivu where they are fighting against Burundian rebels who have been based in Congo for several years”.

Concerns of the population are shared by soldiers, as one of them indicates, who adds that the soldiers are asking for war compensations and a decent salary, like those who go on a mission to Somalia.

“Our families are in total disarray and languish in poverty and are not compensated when a soldier falls on the battlefield in Congo”, laments a young soldier from the FDNB (Burundi National Defense Force) posted in the Sange area in Congo.

A local source reports that the wounded are regularly treated and admitted to the Cibitoke camp. The others are transported to Bujumbura, the commercial city.

Contacted in this regard, the commander of the 112th battalion in Cibitoke did not confirm this information. This senior officer indicates that soldiers fall ill like other human beings, and that they are treated as usual for various illnesses.

The small East African nation sent two contingents to South Kivu last year. One was deployed there in a bilateral framework while the other is there as part of the EAC regional force. Often accused of organizing clandestine operations in South Kivu in collaboration with the Imbonerakure (members of the CNDD-FDD party’s youth league) in recent years, the Burundian army has also recently sent soldiers to North Kivu to help observe the ceasefire agreed between the M23 and the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo), an agreement far from being honored.

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