Burundian army soldiers were seen in December in the eastern highlands region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), considered a rear base for the Burundian rebellion of RED-Tabara, he said. we learned Wednesday January 5 from local sources.
“On Sunday December 19, 2021, the Burundian forces entered Lemera. More than 380 soldiers, obviously commandos. They went to Lemera center [et] left to attack the Burundian rebels ”, told AFP Edmond Simba Muhogo, head of the Lemera group in the territory of Uvira, in the province of South Kivu. These soldiers are currently installed in the Congolese localities of Bijojo and Bibangwa, he said.
“I confirm that Burundian soldiers entered the DRC” and headed “Towards the highlands, where the RED-Tabara is located”, assured AFP Mwami Ndari Kalingishi Simba 3 Adams, traditional chief of Bafuliiru, adding to have alerted the army on this « incursion ». “The authorities must tell us the truth about the presence of this foreign force”, responded Willy Siremba, Uvira civil society coordinator.
“We can neither confirm nor deny the presence of the Burundian army on Congolese soil. We know that there are armed groups that come from foreign countries and cross the border clandestinely to support other rebel groups that are in the Congo ”Major Dieudonné Kasereka, army spokesman in South Kivu, told AFP. These groups “Who come from foreign countries” are often “Invited by local armed groups who continue to kill, rape and steal the property of the population. But to say that it is the Burundian army, we cannot confirm it “, he insisted. Without naming them, the officer referred to recent “Clashes between these groups”.
A series of attacks in Burundi
On Monday, the RED-Tabara tweeted to have “Fought [dimanche] in Gashenyo and Kitembe, in the highlands of South Kivu, against the Burundi National Defense Forces ”doing “At least ten dead and twenty wounded on the enemy side”.
Considered today as the most active of the Burundian rebel groups, the RED-Tabara, whose rear base is in eastern DRC, has been accused of a series of attacks in Burundi since 2015. This rebel movement, which would have between 500 and 800 men, is getting stronger and now has a presence in Burundi, said in November the Burundian opponent Alexis Sinduhije. In September, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on the international airport in Bujumbura, the economic capital of Burundi, where several attacks took place in the same month.
In addition to RED-Tabara, the National Liberation Forces (FNL) of Burundi are also present in eastern DRC, a region destabilized for more than twenty-five years by the presence of dozens of local and foreign armed groups.
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Burundian soldiers reported in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo