DR Congo army kills ‘dozens’ of Burundi rebels in South Kivu operation

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army said Thursday, April 11 that it had killed 36 Burundian rebels in a three-day operation in the eastern province of South Kivu, abutting Burundi.

Three soldiers were killed and four were injured in the operation which targeted “positions of Burundian rebels of the National Forces of Liberation (FNL) and Republican Forces of Burundi (FOREBU),” said provincial army spokesperson Captain Dieudonne Kasereka.

Two senior rebel officers were killed and the FNL’s chief, Aloys Nzabampema, was seriously hurt, he said.

Troops overran rebel positions at Magunda, Ruminako and Mangwa in the Uvira region and seized “several weapons of various calibres, ammunition and much communication material,” said Kasereka.

FOREBU mainly comprises troops and police who deserted the Burundian security forces in the aftermath of an attempted coup against Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015. It has been renamed the Popular Forces of Burundi (FPB).

The FNL is a predominantly Hutu rebel movement that has holed up in the Ruzizi plain, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, since 2009.

The DR Congo accuses the FNL and FOREBU of colluding with local militia blamed for bloody attacks and rights abuses in the South Kivu areas of Uvira, Fizi and Mwenga.

UN considering downsizing DR Congo peacekeeping mission

With reporting from AFP

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