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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A insurgent assault on Burundi from neighboring Congo has left no less than 20 {dead}, the federal government says

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NAIROBI, Kenya — Not less than 20 folks have been killed in Burundi following an assault by a insurgent group primarily based within the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, a Burundian authorities spokesman stated Saturday.

Amongst these killed had been 12 youngsters and three ladies, two of whom had been pregnant, spokesman Jérôme Niyonzima stated in a press release.

The assault focused 9 houses on Friday night within the western city of Vugizo, near the Lake Tanganyika border with Congo, in line with the Burundian authorities.

RED-Tabara, a Burundian armed insurgent group primarily based in South Kivu, japanese Congo, claimed duty for the assault in a put up on X, previously Twitter. The group, which denied having focused civilians, claimed to have killed 9 troopers and a police officer.

Burundian authorities think about RED-Tabara a terrorist motion. The group first appeared in 2011 and has been accused of a string of assaults in Burundi since 2015.

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Witnesses who spoke to The Related Press stated the rebels seemed to be carrying Burundian military uniform and civilians had been “left to their very own gadgets” after the army and police fled.

“We realized they had been attackers after they attacked the police place guarding the border,” stated Priscille Kanyange, a farmer. “Many individuals right here had been injured by bullets (as they had been) attempting to flee.”

Farmer Harmless Hajayandi, who witnessed the assault stated safety forces fled, “leaving the residents to their very own gadgets.”

André Kabura a grocery store proprietor, who was wounded in each legs by gunfire, stated the army and police had been sluggish to regroup and fend off the attackers.

On Friday, Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye instructed military, police and intelligence officers to stay vigilant, warning that “the enemy by no means sleeps even when we have now safety.”

In August final yr, Burundi deployed troopers to japanese Congo as a part of a regional drive invited by Congo to sort out the resurgence of the M23 insurgent group there. Some observers believed that the Burundi troops from the seven-nation East African Group drive can be used to crush RED-Tabara.

Nonetheless, the East African Regional drive is at the moment being withdrawn in phases from the violence-plagued japanese Congo following complaints from locals and authorities that as an alternative of disarming the rebels, the forces had been cohabiting with them.

The Burundi Human Rights Initiative stated Burundi had secretly deployed lots of of troops and militia to Congo in 2021 to struggle RED-Tabara. The influence of that secret deployment is just not clear.

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