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11 Sep 2020 | 04:58 PM UTC

Burundi: Unidentified attackers kill six in Matongo (Kayanza Province) September 10

Unidentified gunmen kill six in attack on Matongo community in Kayanza Province on September 10; further attacks and security operations likely in medium term

security
BDI

Event

At least six people were killed on the evening of Thursday, September 10, when a group of unidentified gunmen attacked a community in Kayanza Province's Matongo commune. The attack on the hillside village of Nyarumanga is reported to have occurred at around 21:00 (local time), with the assailants subsequently retreating into the nearby Kibira forest. According to local authorities, at least two other civilians were wounded in the incident and one person remains missing, presumed to have been abducted by the group.

The identity of the group and motive behind the attack remain unclear, but local media sources reported that armed men had been harassing communities in the area and extorting money from residents and travelers in recent days.

Further attacks and associated security operations are likely in the Matongo commune and elsewhere in Kayanza Province in the medium term.

Context

Although insecurity linked to Burundi's 2015 political crisis has declined in recent years, the government has struggled to tackle long-term security challenges in remote areas along its borders with the DRC and Rwanda. Several rebel and criminal groups have continued to operate in the Kibira forest since the end of the country's civil war in 2005 and launch periodic attacks on local communities and security forces in the region.

Advice

Those in Kayanza Province are advised to monitor local media and other sources for further updates on the incident and associated security operations and should heed any directives issued by local authorities.

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