SECURITY STEPPED UP SHARPLY FOLLOWING ATTACK BY CONGO BASED REBELS NEAR THE TOURIST HUB OF KINIGI
(Posted 06th October 2019)
At least 8 people were killed and a further 18 wounded in what is generally believed to be an attack by Congo based Hutu rebels, seeking revenge for the recent killing of their military leader Sylvestre Mudacumura which took place a few weeks ago in an operation against the rebel group.
Mudacumura had been indicted by the International Criminal Court and would have faced extradition for trial in The Hague had he been captured. A selfstyled ‘general‘ was he among the top suspects of having carried out the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and has since been causing havoc in Eastern Congo. Some of his closest collaborators were also killed during the fighting on 18th of September.
The attack yesterday evening (05th October 2019) around 21.30 hrs local time near the town of Musanze is subsequently seen as a revenge attack by the FDLR, aiming to stay relevant but, lacking any strength to attack military targets in Rwanda, seemed to have opted to hit a general population soft target.
Besides seeking revenge was hitting Rwanda’s successful tourism sector no doubt another objective though the industry has in the past proved to be resilient when cross border attacks were carried out by the FDLR and similar groups.
Local police and other security personnel were swift to respond to the gunfire and calls from residents and began to drive the attackers off. A wide dragnet is now being used to seek out and capture any of them remaining inside Rwanda.
From feedback received by regular sources in Rwanda does it appear that no tourists were among the victims as tourist hotels and facilities are normally well guarded by security forces, trained to repel any such attacks.
The Volcanoes National Park is a trans-boundary ecosystem between Rwanda and Congo, providing refuge for hundreds of endangered mountain gorillas and the terrain makes it possible to infiltrate from across the border into Rwanda, despite intense surveillance and regular patrols.