Monday, August 16, 2004

Burundi/DRC: Rwanda threatens action in DRC

The government of Rwanda has threatened to intervene again in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to disarm Hutu rebels based in eastern Congo, according to a statement issued on Sunday.

Rwanda issued the statement two days after a massacre of at least 160 people on Friday in a refugee camp near Burundi's border with the DRC. The victims were Tutsis from eastern DRC, known as Banyamulenge. Many were women and children.

... A Burundian rebel group, the Forces nationales de liberation (FNL) led by Agathon Rwasa claimed responsibility for Friday's attack. Rwasa's FNL is the only rebel movement in Burundi that has not laid down its weapons in accordance with a peace agreement concluded in Arusha, Tanzania, in August 2000. But survivors are reportedly saying that combatants came from the DRC. (source)
The FNL claimed that Burundian soldiers and Congolese Tutsi militia were hiding in the refugee camp.

Also ...
Burundian troops sealed the border with Congo on Sunday, with some manning the two official crossings and others monitoring the Ruzizi River that separates the two countries, army spokesman Col. Adolphe Manirakiza said Monday. (source)
The African Union is sending a team to Burundi and the DRC to investigate the massacre.