29 September 2017

Burundi: No Attack Perpetrated in Gatumba Locality, Says Army Spokesperson

During the public conference the spokespersons of the government and other institutions have held on 29 September in Ngozi province, the Army spokesperson says there has not been any attack perpetrated in Gatumba locality, west of Bujumbura province.

Two soldiers died on the spot in the attack perpetrated last week by unknown armed groups in Gatumba zone of Mutimbuzi commune in Bujumbura western province. Col. Gaspard Baratuza, the Army spokesperson, says the attack did not target the military camps as many people think. "There are some elements that belong to the National Liberation Front- FNL-the wing of Aloys Nzabampema-based in South Kivu-DRC that sometimes commit crimes," says Col. Baratuza.

He says measures have been taken to secure the Burundi-DRC borders. "The Burundian Army in collaboration with the police agents are deployed on Burundi-DRC borders as they did for the Rukoko Park-in Bubanza western province when armed groups used to carry out attacks in the locality", he says.

Col. Gaspard Baratuza says Gatumba is an area which criminals can easily reach given that there is no river.

Sake Mathieu, the chairman of the human rights organization-ACPPDH operating in Gatumba locality, said heavy gunshots were heard many times and between 3 and 5 soldiers died in armed attacks in a week. "Attacks took place on the military and police positions in Gatumba locality, on the Burundi-Congolese border. There are also unknown wounded people", said Sake before adding that Gatumba residents live in fear following frequent attacks.

Since the beginning of the week, there are confrontations between the Congolese Army forces-FARDC and the Mai-Mai Yakutumba rebellion, in the south Kivu-DRC. The Burundi Army spokesperson says the national Army in collaboration with the police remain vigilant to secure borders and control any movement at Burundi-DRC borders. "They have been deployed at all borders and if the DRC government makes a request, Burundian soldiers will be deployed to help fight the rebels. But for the moment, there is no Burundian military on the DRC battlefields", he says.

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