Rwanda: November 22, 2002


The Burundian government reported another series of FDD mortar attacks north of the capital and more fighting in the Rutegama area (east of the capital). The Burundian Army is apparently responding to some of the mortar attacks with artillery counter-battery fire. Thats a tough trick. You need lots of forward observers with radios linked to the artillery fire direction center (assuming there is a fire direction center) and/or counter-battery radar systems. The Burundian Army apparently has none of this. Firing artillery into suspected positions usually shoots up jungle and does little else, However, the area is very close to populated towns and villages, so off rounds arent going to simply hit jungle. As for Rutegama, ten civilians died in the renewed fighting in that area. There was no information about government and rebel casualties.

The Burundian government claimed that its forces dealt the FDD a heavy blow in a battle near Rutegama. The Burundian press release said the bodies of 33 FDD rebel were found after the Burdundian Army cleared the battlefield. Ten civilians died in the battle, which took place November 21. One part of the broken FDD force fled into the Kibera forest. On November 22, Hutu rebels fired mortars into two Bujumbura suburbs and killed four people. A subsequent report said the Burundian Army had launched a counter-guerrilla sweep to try and flush the mortar unit.


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