Another series of gun battles have broken out between rebel FNL factions
and the Burundian Army. A major firefight erupted May 1, ten kilometers from
Bujumbura. On May 2 the government reported that four rebel fighters and one
Burundian Army soldier had died in what was described as an FNL-initiated
ambush. The fighting has displaced 3,500 people. The government continues to reject a new
"power-sharing deal" demanded by the FNL rebels.
2008: The Rwandan government is once again emphasizing "anti-genocide ideology"
education, especially in Rwanda's Southern province. The Rwandan government
uses the term "genocide ideology" to refer to the ethnic and regional tensions
which led to the 1994 genocide of Rwandan Tutsis. This is clearly a political information
campaign, with a direct person to person component as well as radio
programming. Local courts ("Gacaca" traditional courts in many cases) are still
prosecuting people who committed crimes during the genocide.
2008: Burundian forces launched an air strike on rebel FNL positions in the
Rukoko Swamp northwest of Bujumbura. The area is on the Burundi-Congo border
and is used as a base camp area and an infiltration route by various rebel groups. The report did not
specify the type of aircraft, but Burundi military airstrikes are usually
delivered by armed helicopters. There were a series of firefights began on
April 28, leaving 17 FNL rebels and four Burundian Army soldiers dead. Given
the area where the fighting is taking place, this does look like a government
2008: Burundi's president called for international and regional involvement to
help stop the new round of fighting that began April 17.
2008: FNL guerrillas fired mortars into Bujumbura. There were no reported
2008: This time it is more than a firefight. The Burundian Army and a rebel
faction of the FNL-Palipehutu have engaged in a series of running battles with
FNL rebels. This appears to be the biggest outbreak of combat in the last
twelve months. The government used attack helicopters against rebels in the
Bubanza area northwest of Bujumbura. In
the last two days six Burundian soldiers have been killed and an estimated 20
rebels killed. An FNL spokesman said that the government had launched an attack
in the area. Bubanza is regarded as an FNL stronghold. The FNL has also denied
accusations that the Rwandan Hutu rebel militia in the Congo, the Democratic
Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) was aiding the FNL. Both the FDLR
and FNL, however, are ethnic Hutu rebel groups.
2008: A rebel FNL faction mortared a
military post outside of Bujumburu.
2008: A Burundian Army soldier serving with African Union peacekeeping forces
in Somalia died from wounds. The soldier was wounded in a suicide bomb attack
April 8. The attack occurred in Mogadishu.
2008: The UN Peace Building Commission in Burundi has urged the Burundian
Government and the FNL to continue Burundi's reconciliation process and
implement the 2006 Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement. The UN report comes as
violence has flared in rural Burundi. In early March grenade attacks were made on
the homes of four members of Burundi's parliament in the capital, Bujumbura. In
July 2007 the FNL-Palipehutu withdrew from participating the Joint Verification
and Monitoring Mechanism (ceasefire monitoring agreement group originally run
by UN peacekeeping mission in Burundi).