Burundi Soldiers Detained After Refusing to Fight

(IntegrityPress.org) – An unspecified number of Burundian troops are reportedly detained in Nairobi, Kenya, after declining to take part in fighting against the M23 rebels in the eastern Congo.

Multiple sources, including officers in the army, prison officials, and local witnesses, have confirmed these arrests, indicating that the soldiers are currently held in different prisons around the country. The soldiers’ refusal to fight alongside Congolese forces during the region’s intensifying violence, which puts the border city of Goma, close to Rwanda, in danger, is supposedly the main reason for these arrests.

Evariste Ndayishimiye, the president of Burundi, has defended the military deployment of his country in the Congo. He mentioned regional security issues as well as agreements on mutual defense.

As Burundi, Congo, and Rwanda accuse one another of aiding local insurgencies, tensions in the Great Lakes area are only becoming higher. Despite its strong denials to the contrary, Rwanda is thought to be linked with the M23 organization, which is seen as a serious threat to the area. Burundi also accuses Rwanda of backing RED-Tabara, a group that is believed to be behind the recent deadly attacks within Burundi.

The exact number of detained soldiers remains unknown, with limited official commentary on the matter. According to witnesses, more than 200 soldiers are imprisoned on charges varying from refusing to fight to corruption inside the armed forces. Despite the fact that some have been freed or discharged, many of the soldiers are still behind bars.

As the M23 claims to protect local Tutsis, neighboring nations address security concerns that have broader effects for regional stability. Diplomatic relations are being strained, and the humanitarian situation in eastern Congo is becoming worse due to the attacks and tensions.

The US has advocated for negotiations in the region. It emphasized the danger posed by multiple armed groups fighting for dominance, which, in this part of the world, always ends badly for the civilians.

Copyright 2024, IntegrityPress.org