Three Burundian senior officers , were arrested on Sunday and then taken to an unknown location. For good reason, refusing to take their companies to the Democratic Republic of Congo clandestinely via the Rusizi River. They demanded better conditions for convoys leaving for the DRC.
Burundian soldiers from the 112th battalion in Cibitoke reveal that the morale of the troops is at its lowest.
These senior Burindian officers with the rank of Major, they have no motivation to board illegally and then die anonymously. They are therefore asking for more transparency and better organization as for their comrades sent on a joint EAC mission.
Indeed, disagreements have been observed recently in the 112th infantry battalion of Cibitoke, between the officers who must ensure field operations against the M23 on the other side of the Rusizi to the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to information from the Cibitoke military barracks, a gathering place for soldiers leaving for the DRC, Burundian soldiers receive Congolese military uniforms and instructions there.
However, some officers are reluctant to engage troops in such dangerous terrain, according to military sources at Cibitoke camp.
The latter claim that an officer of the 1st company with the rank of Major refused to leave with his company in the DRC.
Two other officers then followed suit. They were subsequently put in a vehicle for a previously unknown destination.
Other military sources closer to the file indicate that the same situation is also observed among officers and rank-and-file soldiers. Not everyone sees the point of dying on foreign soil without any national interest or compensation.
Thus, they deplore said dubious mission in these terms:
“Some of our comrades in arms have already fallen on the battlefield and even the military hierarchy hides all information from the families of the deceased. The country does not even intend to honor the courageous soldiers killed on Congolese soil and a modest sum of 600,000 Burundian francs is given as compensation to the families of the missing,” bitterly regrets certain young officers.
According to various consistent sources, agitation is increasingly palpable within the units whose mission is to fight the M23 rebels in North Kivu.
In all likelihood, the Burundian soldiers also criticize the transport conditions to which they are subjected.
Most of them find the passage at night towards the DRC, from the Rusizi river, which is full of numerous crocodiles and hippos, very dangerous. They must leave from the localities of Kaburantwa, Gasenyi and crossroad 12 of Rusiga hill, Kigazura, respectively Buganda and Rugombo communes to cover long distances on foot.
On the other side, transport is provided by trucks to reach the combat zones near the city of Goma. They arrive there tired, which also prevents them from being well organized to carry out their mission.
Although the Burundian army remains silent about this mission and the death of its soldiers in the DRC, it is burring them day by day.
Last Thursday, the Burundi National Defense Force “FDNB” buried the highest ranking of its soldiers who fell on the battlefield in Congo .Recently , the M23 revealed to the press the Burundian soldiers it took hostage during a press conference .