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12 Sep 2020 | 10:29 PM UTC

Burundi: Security forces kill suspected rebels in Bugarama (Rumonge Province) September 11

Security forces kill four suspected rebels in Rumonge Province’s Bugarama district on September 11; further security operations likely in medium term

security
BDI

Event

Security forces are reported to have killed four suspected rebels on Friday, September 11, during a security operation in the Bugarama district of the country's western Rumonge Province. A civilian is also reported to have been killed and two police officers injured in the operation, which targeted suspected Resistance for the Rule of Law in Burundi (RED-Tabara) rebels in the Monge Forest near the village of Gahuni, although it is currently unclear whether the civilian was killed by the group or caught in the crossfire.

Further security operations are likely in the Bugarama district 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.

RED-Tabara rebels have long maintained a presence in the South Kivu region of the DRC, from where they have launched sporadic attacks and incursions into Burundi. However, the group has become increasingly active in areas of Rumonge Province, including Bugarama, in recent months, causing hundreds of local residents to flee their communities and prompting the government to commit additional security forces to the region.

Advice

Those in Rumonge 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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