Rwanda: May 24, 2001


On May 21 the Rwandan Army reported a major rebel action as Hutu guerrillas apparently attempted a mass infiltration from the DRC. The Rwandan Army claimed its troops engaged a 72-man guerrilla force, killing 35 rebels and capturing 22. The attack took place in the village of Nyamutera (Ruhengeri district). The attack began on May 20 and continued until May 21. This would be the first major Hutu rebel attack in Rwanda in nearly two years (since late 1999, actually). A Rwandan spokesman said the rebels attacked from bases in Masisi and Rutshuru (inside the DRC). The rebels used an infilitration route around what was described as the Karisimbi volcano. A Rwandan spokesman described the 72-man rebel group as an advance team for the Interahamwe (Hutu radicals). This team was sent into Rwanda to to capture positions and procure food in preparation for the movement of more guerrillas into Rwanda. The group was armed with AK-47s. A western press source said many of the captured Hutu guerrillas were teenagers, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old. On May 24, the Rwandan Army reported its troops had continued to pursue the Hutu rebel group.


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