FARDC Military Operations Against FDLR in Buleusa: What Really Happened?

FDLR Soldiers in Buleusa, Walikale

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In the article FARDC Launch Military Operations Against FDLR in Buleusa, Walikale of January 15, 2014, AfroAmerica Network informed that after weeks of anticipation and suspense, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government troops FARDC decided to launch attacks on the positions of the FDLR Rwandan rebels in Buleusa, Walikale, North Kivu province. More detailed information on what really happened and how the operations ended were provided by our sources.

The attacks by FARDC were launched  in the night of Wednesday leading to Thursday morning, January 15, 2015. The attacks originated from the FARDC positions located in Kirumba and Katiku, South Lubero. They were led by Colonel Murenzi, a former officer ofNational Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) rebellion backed by the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) , who  was integrated  into FARDC and became a commander.  His brother, Colonel Karahamiheto,  is RDF military intelligence officer based in Gisenyi, Rwanda, as G2.  

The troops, under the command of Colonel Murenzi, left Kirumba and Katiku towards Buleusa, Walikale, through the town of Miriki. The aim was to attack Buleusa,  a significant post that has served as  a location of two disarmament ceremonies  by the FDLR rebels. According to the sources, the attacks also happened when the FDLR president, General Victor  Byiringiro was on his way to an appointment in Buleusa with BBC and Al-Jazeera journalists. The attackers aimed at capturing or killing  General Victor Byiringiro and eventually seizing the village of Buleusa.

However, things did not go as expected. FDLR intelligence services close to Miriki appear to have informed their troops based in Kasimba about the movement of Colonel Murenzi's troops. FDLR troops based in Kasimba, a few miles away from Buleusa, ambushed Colonel Murenzi's forces.

The casualty figures diverge based on the sources. Some sources say that Colonel Murenzi's troops lost 2 soldiers. Others mention 4 soldiers including a high ranking officer. On the FDLR side, some sources say 1 soldier was killed, but other sources mention 6 FDLR casualties.

After hearing of the failed attack by FARDC troops, Congolese civilians residing in and around Buleusa protested against FARDC  and MONUSCO troops based near Buleusa.

During the protests, the Congolese civilians accused FARDC and MONUSCO of seeking to bring war in Buleusa, a city that has  so far been peaceful. MONUSCO military and political leaders had to intervene and involve local Congolese leaders.  After calming the situation, they promised the population that MONUSCO troops will make sure peace  will not be disturbed again.

 

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