Rwanda: October 3, 2001


The Pan African War Goes On And On And On...- The Rwanda-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) launched an attempt to take the town of Fizi from Rwandan and Burundian rebels, aided by Congolese army officers, on 25 September. Heavy fighting followed up until the 30th. The strategic town on the northwestern shores of Lake Tanganyika in eastern DRC was captured on 7 September, as Burundian government forces were pulling out of eastern DRC to fight rebels outside their country's capital, Bujumbura. Fizi is significant, allowing Burundian and Rwandan rebels to mount incursions into their countries across the lake, with speedboats supplied by the Kinshasa government. 

The president of the RCD-Goma, Adolphe Onusumba, accused DRC government forces officers of masterminding the logistics and other key operations of the Rwandan and Burundian rebels. Rwandan deputy army chief-of-staff Brigadier General James Kabarebe said the forces that captured Fizi arrived in boats from the port of Muliro, on the lake's southwestern shores. Rwandan military officials think that these Hutu rebel units in and around Fizi were part of a force of more than 40,000 advancing towards Rwanda.

In mid-September, regular Rwandan army troops and RCD-Goma rebel units were reported to be preparing a massive offensive on the Ubwari Peninsula of Lake Tanganyika, in eastern Congo (DRCongo, or Democratic Republic of the Congo). Their aim was to destroy the bases of Burundi FDD [Forces for the Defence of Democracy, pro-Hutu] and FNL [National Liberation Forces, also pro-Hutu] rebels, [DR]Congolese Mayi Mayi [pro-Kinshasa tribal warriors], and Rwandan ex-FAR [former Rwandan Armed Forces] and Interahamwe [Hutu militia]. - Adam Geibel


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