Sources close to Rwandan rebels inform AfroAmerica Network that Rwandan rebels have vowed to continue attacking the Rwandan government Defense Forces (RDF) after they successfully launched attacks on the Rwandan army in Mutura, Northwestern Rwanda, on November 27, 2012.
The attack, first reported by AfroAmerica Network (see our article Rwandan Rebels Attack RDF in Mutura; UN Expresses Intention to Sanction Rwandan Leaders of November 27, 2012), surprised both the Rwandan military leaders and international observers and United Nations experts, who had suggested that the Rwandan rebels were a spent force.
According to the rebels and independent sources, the rebels surprised the Rwandan Defense forces troops stationed in Mutura about to deploy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) around 2:00 AM on November 27, 2011. The rebels attacked into three columns, one blocking the road between Mukamira and Gisenyi to prevent reinforcements, another close to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the area known as Kabuhanga, whereas the last one attacked a military outpost in the village of Cyanzarwe. Given the long distance among the three areas, it appears the rebels had been inside Rwanda for a while and had very good coordination.
In the first wave of attacks, Rwandan rebels killed and wounded tens of Rwandan defense forces. The casualties among Rwandan government troops were confirmed by AfroAmerica Network sources within RDF. Heavy fighting ensued, sending the population into hiding and pushing others to flee the area. Right before the combats, infiltrated rebels had warned the civilians to stay indoor, if and when they hear shootings.
Sources within the rebels say that after the fightings, they returned in undisclosed locations inside Rwanda. “We accomplished what we wanted and beyond our goals, ” the sources added.
Asked about their specific goals, the sources said they cannot provide details at the moment, except saying that the goals included capturing advanced weapons and equipment owned by Rwandan Defense Forces and other logistics, which, according to the sources, were reached.
Asked whether they lost the 6 fighters as the Rwandan military and political leaders claimed, the rebels said that “in war, casualties are possible, but Rwandan Defense Forces military leaders know they are lying to the population.”
“We are ready and determined. There is no more turning back,” the rebel sources said. Whether it is bravado or real, the incoming days will tell.
For now, the rebel sources have vowed to continue the attacks on the Rwandan Defense Forces. If this materializes, it may be another complication of an already chaotic situation in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
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