In Congolese army uniform, five bodies (all men) were discovered on Friday morning on Ruhembe hill in the Bumba area. It is in the commune of Bukinanyana in the province of Cibitoke (north-western Burundi). None of the victims have so far been identified. But residents suspect they belonged to a group of Kinyarwanda-speaking armed men in the area.
They were reportedly killed by Burundian soldiers in clashes that have erupted in the Kibira nature reserve since Wednesday this week. Bukinanyana communal administrator confirms the gruesome discovery. He promises an investigation.
It was forest rangers who first discovered the corpses. They were on a daily patrol in the Kibira Nature Reserve. “When we reached Ruhembe hill, we saw corpses. They were tied up in groups of two and three. Taken with fear, we quickly alerted soldiers from a nearby position in the Kibira, “an eyewitness told SOS Médias Burundi.
He continued, “After giving them the information, the military told us not to communicate anything about this macabre discovery.” Residents near the Kibira believe the bodies were from men who fell during the clashes on Wednesday and Thursday. “This Wednesday and Thursday, we heard several shootouts and over a good part of the day. Recently we have seen a lot of armed men in Congolese army military uniform. But they speak Kinyarwanda. As the uniform found on the bodies is from the Congolese army, we believe they belonged to the same group, “our sources said.
A military source confirmed on condition of anonymity to our newsroom that these were the men who had been captured in the clashes saying that “we have been ordered to kill them. We are still looking for others who have been injured and who are believed to be hiding in the forest. “
Residents report seeing a big movement this morning. The chief of zone of Bumba accompanied by soldiers, police officers and young Imbonerakure circulated in the locality. A local administrative official said he was waiting for orders from the hierarchy to bury the bodies.
To the population who fears revenge from the group to which the killed individuals belonged, an official of the FDNB (Burundi National Defense Force) in the region calms down. He says security is guaranteed without saying a word about the identity of these men.
The administrator of Bukinanyana, who promises an investigation, ordered the burial of the five bodies in the presence of soldiers. “We buried them in a mass grave. No one was allowed to take pictures, “said a source who participated in their burial.