40 Burundi Rebels Killed In East DR Congo in Joint Military Offensive

By our Correspondent

Available information by Congolese army spokesman said on Sunday, that forty Burundi rebels have been killed in joint military offensive by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi in eastern DRC.

According to the spokesman, Lieutenant Marc Elongo-Kyondwa, the two armies “carried out a high-intensity offensive operation” against Burundian rebels of the National Liberation Forces (FNL).

He confirmed that the enemy “suffered a heavy loss of men and equipment: 40 attackers neutralised (killed).”

Elongo-Kyondwa added that two armies “dislodged” the FNL “from all the four hills overlooking the town of Nabombi,” considered a command post of the FNL’s self-proclaimed general Aloys Nzabampema.

It was further explained that the Congolese army called on local people to cooperate with the regular forces and asked “young people to dissociate themselves from armed groups.” This was the statement that the Congolese General Major Ramazani Fundi, commander of operations in the southern part of the province, was quoted as saying.

Clarifying, it was pointed out that the FNL is a branch of Agathon Rwasa’s former rebel group, now the main political opposition in Burundi.

And since August, Burundian soldiers charged with fighting armed groups have been officially present in DRC’s South Kivu region, as part of the Community of East African States (EAC) force.

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Again in June, the EAC decided to set up a regional force, comprising the Kenyan and Ugandan armies alongside Congolese soldiers in North Kivu and Ituri, the South Sudanese army in Haut-Uele and Burundians in South Kivu.

Also, Kinshasa, which accuses Rwanda of actively supporting M23 rebels in North Kivu, has refused to allow Kigali to take part in the force.

Thus for nearly 30 years, the east of the DRC has been plagued by violent armed groups, some local, others made up of militiamen from neighbouring countries.

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