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43 suspected Burundian 'rebels' arrested in eastern DRC

43 suspected Burundian 'rebels' arrested in eastern DRC

Democratic Republic Of Congo

43 men believed to be part of a rebel faction against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza have been arrested in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The men were presented to the press by Congolese authorities, at a ceremony in a military intelligence camp in the town of Uvira, near DRC’s border with Burundi in South Kivu province.

Most of the arrested were of Burundian nationality, with ages ranging between 20 and 30 years.

Brigadier General Gustave Bahati, Head of Operations of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), which is fighting against armed groups in southern South Kivu, said the detainees were arrested between August 24 and January 11.

“A number of them have reported having undergone training in Rwanda and wanted to sneak into Burundi (through the DRC).”

The Congolese army also said the suspects were apprehended in various circumstances. About twenty of the accused were in possession of Congolese voters cards.

Eastern Congo in general and particularly in the provinces of North and South Kivu, have been chocking in armed conflict for over 20 years.

The situation in neighbouring Burundi has not been rosy either, with the country having experienced a civil war in the early 90’s.

And now the country is reeling from political turmoil that started since the disputed re-election of president Pierre Nkurunziza who was bidding for a third term in July 2015.