DR Congo army arrests 30 Burundians

The Burundians were arrested "thanks to collaboration between the population and the security services," Kasereka said.

FILE: The Ruzizi plain in South Kivu is one of several eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo that have been destabilised for more than a quarter of a century by armed groups and bandits. Picture: 123rf.com

BUKAVU - DR Congo's army on Thursday said it had arrested around 30 Burundian citizens near the two countries' border over suspicions they were planning to rustle cattle and join an armed group.

The group were arrested in the village of Rusabagi on Tuesday night and are being questioned by military intelligence, said Major Dieudonne Kasereka, a spokesman for the army in South Kivu province.

"These illegal immigrants are the ones who cross the Ruzizi River at night, seeking to steal cattle and enlist in armed groups," he said.

He added that they could be members of the RED-Tabara, the most active rebel group in Burundi which has a rear base in South Kivu.

The Burundians were arrested "thanks to collaboration between the population and the security services," Kasereka said.

He said four Burundi nationals had been arrested over the Congolese border in recent months, but the latest operation was the biggest of its kind.

The Ruzizi plain in South Kivu is one of several eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo that have been destabilised for more than a quarter of a century by armed groups and bandits.

As well as RED-Tabara, a Burundian rebel group called the National Forces of Liberation, or FNL, is also active in the region.

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