Cibitoke: 6 soldiers arrested after a confrontation with Imbonerakure

Cibitoke: 6 soldiers arrested after a confrontation with Imbonerakure

The 6 army officers were posted at Ruhagarika station, Buganda commune Cibitoke province, northwest Burundi. That is near the Rusizi River separating Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Five of them are locked up in the provincial police station cell since September 13 after clash with members of the ruling CNDD-FDD party’s youth league. The Cibitoke prosecutor speaks of an ongoing investigation. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Those concerned are assigned to the 112th battalion in Cibitoke. They were arrested after an incident which occurred in the area on September 13.

“The Imbonerakure wanted to transport around ten cows to the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) through the Rusizi River. Soldiers who were guarding this river wanted to prevent them before a shootout broke out. An Imbonerakure was seriously injured”, say residents of the locality where the confrontation took place.

Military sources speak of “self-defense”.

“It was the group of bandits made up of the Imbonerakure who help traders bring in or leave fraudulent goods who first opened fire on the soldiers assuring security along the Rusizi River,” they specify.

Astonishment and explanation from the prosecution

Several local sources say they are ‘surprised’.

“How were these soldiers arrested as they were doing their job?” our sources ask.

The Cibitoke prosecutor speaks of an ongoing investigation without wanting to make many comments.

Escape of an inmate

One of the 6 detainees escaped during the night of September 16 to 17, witnesses confirmed. The cell of the Cibitoke provincial police station houses at least 170 detainees in very deplorable conditions, aggravated by the overcrowding and lack of food which have already caused the death of two detainees in September only, according to our sources.

The town where the shooting occurred has served as a transit zone, since years, for fraudulent goods between Burundi and Congo, according to witnesses.

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