27 Rwandan and Burundi rebels were killed by the Democratic Republic of Congo army (FARDC) in a volatile eastern region. Additionally, the Congolese soldiers drove out the armed groups from their strongholds in the eastern province of South Kivu. Some of these rebels fled towards the forests of Muranvia, Nyanzale Rudaga Valley, as well as Nyaburunda and Kashongo.
Between April 6th and 8th, the Congolese troops launched a large scale operation in the eastern province of South Kivu. The Soldiers aimed at regaining territory against the Burundian Republican Forces (FOREBU) and the Burundian rebel groups National Liberation Forces (FNL).
The FNL was among several ethnic Hutu rebel groups that fought against Burundi’s Tutsi-led military government in the 1993-2005 civil war. Disarming the group was thought to have been achieved in 2009, but FNL fighters’ pockets in eastern Congo remained active.
27 Rwandan and Burundi Rebels Killed
Later on, in September, the DR Congo army launched another operation. The troops targeted rebel groups in the east, namely the Red Tabara and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The Red Tabara has claimed numerous deadly cross-border raids into Burundi in the past. Additionally, the Congolese troops fought The National Resistance Council for Democracy (CNRD), another group active in South Kivu.
During the operation, the Congolese troops clashed with the three armed groups in three-days of combat. In the three-day course, the DR Congo army neutralized 27 rebels near Burundi and Rwanda’s border. Additionally, an FNL leader, general Aloyse Zabampema, was seriously wounded during the fight in the east of DR Congo. The FNL is considered to be the main Burundiian rebel force active in eastern DRC. Furthermore, the soldiers seized arms and ammunition belonging to the rebel groups.
Three fighters from the Democratic Republic of Congo army, however, got killed during the intense fighting. Moreover, another four of the army soldiers were wounded during the battle.
The Congolese soldiers recovered many areas formerly under the control of rebels on the day of the fight. Additionally, the troops recovered and dislodged the Burundi National Forces of Liberation (FNL) rebels’ headquarters.
DRC’s relations with neighbors Rwanda and Burundi
DRC’s relationships with its eastern neighbors Burundi and Rwanda have been complicated for a long while. Their relationship is not so smooth due to both Rwandan and Burundian refugees and armed rebel groups in the state’s mineral-rich eastern territories. The three countries have suffered due to multiple conflicts in the East region over the past 30 years.
To end the persistent conflict, DRC Foreign Minister Marie Tumba Nzeza Visited Burundi early in October. During her visit, the Foreign minister talked with president Evariste Ndayishime of Burundi concerning a means to end the conflict.
On October 7, however, Burundi boycotted a regional security summit in Goma, the DRC’S North Kivu province’s capital. The country started the preferred discussing matters concerning security directly with Kinshasa.
DR Congo’s president pledged to address the militia violence that persists in the eastern region and form a solution.