Gunmen Attack Rwanda Military Base Near Burundi Border

Courtesy photo: Military Today

One of Rwanda’s military bases has Saturday morning been attacked by gunmen, according to a statement issued by the army.

The incident took place past midnight in the wee hours of the night at Ruheru sector in Nyaruguru District in Southern Rwanda.

Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Spokesperson, Lt Col Innocent Munyengango, says the RDF engaged the attackers who withdrew back to Burundi.

“The gunmen attacked from Burundi and they fled back in the same direction leaving behind four of them dead and various military equipment that include weapons and communication radios. Three of our soldiers sustained minor injuries. We reassure Rwandans that action will be taken against those responsible,” says Munyengango.

He added that the attackers’ intention was to harm people inside Yanze IDP Model Village which is protected by the attacked RDF position. The village is located just one kilometre from the border.

The army spokesperson said the attacking force originated and retreated back to Burundi through Burundi Defence Force position at Gihisi in Bukinanyana commune, Cibitoke Province.

However, a source in Burundi has refuted what he referred to as “Rwanda’s innuendos that the Rwandan rebels are supported by Burundi.”

“We have been the subject of Rwanda’s military invasion and undermining of our national security for a long time. When they attack us, we defend ourselves. They should not try to insinuate that that their internal disagreements and military rebellion is engineered by us. Those are fabrications. They need to deal with internal dissent internally and not try to use deception by blaming other countries,” said the high level Burundian source.

Rwanda has for years claimed that Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels and other armed groups operate in the jungles of DR Congo where they base to launch attacks on the small East African country.

In fact, Rwanda reportedly approached DR Congo’s President Félix Tshisekedi to allow RDF inside the Congolese territory to fight the FDLR militia. The deployment of Rwanda Defence Forces inside Congo attracted protests by Congolese citizens describing it as an occupation of DR Congo territory and aggression that has led to the death of countless Congolese.

Now, a Congolese senior citizen who says he fled his home in DR Congo following the shelling of the area by Rwanda’s forces, has told this reporter that it is the habit of Rwanda to accuse other countries in order to justify RDF invasion of the accused country.

“Do not be surprised if Rwanda attacks Burundi and says they are pursuing rebels. First of all, Rwanda says only the gunmen lost lives. Were the rebels (gunmen) firing water or pea nuts when they made a surprise attack in the night? Why is Rwanda reporting that only the rebels lost lives? Who are these gunmen? By the time Rwanda issues a statement about an attack, they are heavily hurt. Investigate very well, you will find that they have suffered heavy casualties. If there are no dead RDF in Kanombe hopital, then the so-called attack is fabricated” he said.

In November last year, Rwanda carried out an attack on military positions of the Burundian army located on the Twinyoni mountain in Marura, Mabayi, Cibitoke Province Northwest of the country, killing an unidentified number of Burundian soldiers as well as injuring dozens.

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