Rebels Step Up Attacks In South-East Burundi

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (PANA) - Rebels in Burundi have stepped up attacks in the south-eastern town of Giharo in the province of Rutana, the Burundi National News Agency has reported.
The agency, quoting the governor of the province, Emmanuel Mbarirema, said the assailants have killed, burnt, looted, destroyed and stolen cattle and crops in the area.

Administrative services in the are at a standstill, health centres are closed, markets disrupted and agriculture and livestock extension services have been interrupted, the governor said.

He added that primary and secondary schools will not open for the second term which started Monday due to the insurgency.

Several cases of armed robbery were also reported in Kinyinya town, east of the country.

The insecurity prevailing in the area has led massive displacement of people to areas under military control and to the hills which are considered to be relatively safer.

The displaced need emergency aid such as blankets, food and utensils for their daily use.

Several residents in Mugombwa and Murembera, in the towns of Giharo and Mpinga-Kayove, have fled to Tanzania.

Interior Minister, Ascension Twaginamungu, recently said in an interview the situation was back to normal in Ruyigi province adding that peace was gradually returning to Giharo.

He also accused officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ruyigi of forcing the people to leave for Tanzania.

According to him, all those who fled were now trying to return to Burundi.

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