The Congolese army
The Congolese army on said Friday that its troops killed 33 armed men in fighting against local militia allied to Burundi rebels in the east of DR Congo. The “large-scale operation” was carried out from Wednesday to Thursday in South Kivu province in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The army was fighting members of the Mai-Mai militia, which is allied to the Burundi FNL (National Forces of Liberation) and RED-Tabara rebels.
Regional army spokesman Lieutenant Marc Elonga Kyondwa said the toll at the end of the fighting was “33 militiamen neutralised (killed), including three leaders”.
“This was the army’s response against these rebel groups operating in the mountains overlooking the town of Uvira” after an attack on one of its positions, the spokesman told AFP, adding that the troops were now in control as mopping-up operations continued.
The FNL and RED-Tabara rebel groups have bases in eastern DR Congo, a region destabilised by the presence of dozens of local and foreign armed groups. The Congolese army regularly accuses Burundi rebels of allying with local militias and causing insecurity in South Kivu province.