Rwanda: August 16, 2000


Over the past week, several more reports have appeared on the wire services and on the Internet discussing Hutu rebel attacks around Bujumbura and in eastern Burundi. President Clinton's stated intent of visiting Burundi when a peace deal is signed has made the usually ignored war in Burundi bigger news. It would also give President Clinton a photo-op with Nelson Mandela. Anyway, both the Burundi government and western press sources have now confirmed a major rebel attack on the Kanyosha "commune" on August 6. The rebels killed five civilians and 27 government soldiers. The attack was carried out by the National Liberation Forces (FNL), the "military wing" of the Hutu Peoples Liberation Party (PALIPEHUTU). An AFP report on the FNL added that the largest armed element of the FNL (around 1000 fighters) is commanded by a man named Cossan Kabura, with a "chief of staff" named Nestor Nizigama. Many of Kabura's troops are described as "Adventists" (quoting the AFP reports), Adventists being "Christians who believe in the imminent second coming of Christ." The Adventists do not fight on Saturdays. AFP reported that the FNL has "six mobile groups, sometimes as large as 300 men" operating in the Bujumbura area. The FNL is not aligned with the largest Hutu resistance group, the forces for Defense of Democracy (FDD). 




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