Burundi: Police arrest 4 suspects in grenade attack, rebel groups on the offensive

Major General Godefroid Niyombare, attempted coup leader in Burundi and the leader of the new rebel force FOREBU

Major General Godefroid Niyombare, attempted coup leader in Burundi and the leader of the new rebel force FOREBU

Four people were arrested in Mutakura, an opposition stronghold in the Burundian capital Bujumbura Tuesday, in a police operation seeking suspects in Monday’s grenade explosion in the area.

According to Pierre Nkurikiye, Security ministry spokesman, an unidentified armed gang attempted to attack a military post in Mutakura Monday night but there was no victims reported.

He said an AK-47 rifle and dozens of ammunition were recovered in the vicinity of the attack.

Monday’s attack followed a period of relative calm in Bujumbura in spite of armed groups announcing a vast offensive against Burundian army.

Last month, architects of the May 13 failed coup announced the creation of a rebel force; Burundian Republican Forces (FOREBU) headed by renegade General Godefroid Niyombare militarily fight and topple President Pierre Nkurunziza.
Another rebel group; Resistance for the Rule of Law in Burundi, Red-Tabara has also declared war against the Burundian military and government.

Both rebel groups have claim responsibility of armed attacks some parts of the country, inside and outside the capital Bujumbura.

Red-Tabara has said it was behind Monday’s clashes with security forces Mugamba Commune in Bururi Province and in Mukike, Bujumbura Rural Province.

The police revealed they conducted a joint operation with the military to dismantle a rebel group, killing two combatants and recovering a rifle and ammunition, including 40 bombs. Red-Tabara has claimed responsibility of the attack, saying they killed five soldiers and injured 20 others.

Despite sporadic attacks reported in separate localities outside and inside the capital Bujumbura, the government of Burundi still insists the country is peaceful.

Last week, the UN Security Council delegation failed to persuade the government of Burundi to endorse the African Union proposal to deploy 5000 peacekeeping troops in the country to protect civilians.

Nearly 500 people have thus far died in this conflict and over 230,000 have fled to regional countries as refugees.
The turmoil began last April when President Nkurunziza announced he was running for the third term igniting a wave of popular protests.

Despite the fact that the security forces managed to quell the protests, violence has persisted mainly in Bujumbura and many are fearing the Central African state is on the brink of a civil war.