“Our troops Red Tabara engaged in heavy fighting on Monday at Magunda to Sud-Kivu, RD Congo against the military Burundais of FDN. Balance sheet 12 dead & more than 25 wounded on the enemy side. Our valiant fighters Red Tabara launched a surprise attack this Friday at dawn against a military position Burundiais from FDN to Masango, Sud-Kivu, RD Congo. We still don’t know the enemy’s toll. On our side, we deplore an injured person” (Red Tabara, 16.04.2022).
The rebels who was created to beat the late Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza is now continuing to enforce impunity and extra judicial killings within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are doing that will alliances with other militias and with leaders who helps their cause. Clearly the FARDC isn’t able to stop it.
That’s why the Red-Tabara could come out today with a statement of killings in South Kivu. While it was only days ago there was reports of cattle rustling or thieving of livestock in South Kivu from the same militia. Therefore, something is up and they are very active.
Just read the recent report as well…
Stealing livestock in South Kivu Province:
“Residents of the Kiziba village, in the Bijombo groupment, territory of Uvira (province of South Kivu in eastern DRC) say that rebels of the Red Tabara, a Burundian armed group, looted more than 500 cows on Wednesday. The rebel group has not yet reacted to the allegation. INFO SOS Médias Burundi – Heads of households confirmed to SOS Médias Burundi that “the rebels who looted our cows came from the village of Maheta (same groupment of Bijombo)”. The guards were stripped of everything they had on them, our sources say. Local civil society says it has documented several cases of cattle looting in the region. “We were told that some rebel leaders use the money from the sale of these cows to build or buy houses in Burundi,” said a local activist without giving evidence.
The looted animals, on April 6, were the Banyamulenge’s. This community has repeatedly accused the rebels, described by the Burundian authorities as a terrorist movement, of “having robbed us thousands of cows”. The Red Tabara spokesperson wasn’t available to comment on the allegation” (INFO SOS Médias Burundi, 12.04.2022).
So, things are not good and Red Tabara gets to continue to create havoc and injustice. They were created to fight the CNDD-FDD and late President Nkurunziza. Today, they are murderous group who ravages South Kivu for own spoils. That is how things are looking and these sorts of militias are creating more insecurity as the FARDC is overstretched with the amounts of militias operating in the Kivu regions alone. They are able to power-play and overcome the national army drive to have monopoly on violence in the region. That is evident since Red Tabara is just one of many who gets to operate and do these sinister things.
Here is some old reporting on it and a one piece from a UN report from last year in 2021.
Who is the Red Tabara:
“This group emerged last year, and is believed to be composed of former soldiers, police and demobilised ex-rebels. Its “chief-of-staff”, Melchiade Biremba, says its goal is “to hunt Nkurunziza and his clique”. With his departure, a transitional government will be formed, leading to free and credible elections. RED-Tabara shares the “same goals” as the CNARED opposition alliance – but says, “the ways and means we take are different”. RED-Tabara has been referred to as the military wing of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (see above) led by Alex Sinduhije – an allegation denied by Biremba. The group is especially active in Bujumbura. It claims to only target the security forces, but civilians have also been victims of grenade attacks. Biremba says RED-Tabara is united with other anti-Nkurunziza insurgent groups, but “each has its own military strategy”” (Jean-Baptiste Nkurunziza & Obi Anyadike – ‘Briefing – who’s who in Burundi’s armed opposition’ 07.06.2016).
A UN Report from 2021:
“In South Kivu, the Burundian armed group RED Tabara remained active and reportedly continued to cooperate with the Congolese Mai-Mai Ilunga, Mai-Mai René, Mai-Mai Yakutumba and Twirwaneho militias, which have been involved in abductions and kidnappings for ransom. On 15 July, RED Tabara released a communiqué denying any alliances with the aforementioned local armed groups or any involvement in attacks on FARDC” (United Nations Security Council – ‘Implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region’ 30.09.2021).
It is tragic that Red Tabara can continue and prolong the agony. Just like M23 could return to North Kivu. The Red Tabara gets to violate South Kivu. There is a never ending cycle of insecurity and militias creating death in these provinces. A silent war never ending and people are dying over mineral resources and illicit trade of wealth here. Peace.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the interference and sponsoring of rebellions has been steady in the two recent decades. There are now talks of even more brewing trouble ahead. There been killings of peacekeepers lately, also rising numbers fatalities as well, that has been reported in North Kivu. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was similar numbers compiled on the other province too.
Therefore, the recent spark, the recent trend of wondering if there are something new brewing. Is healthy to ask. There are one force who is new in play, that is the Red-Tabara who only yesterday was reported in killing 18 people in and around Uvira. While the Burundian Forces are following their trail inside the DRC. There is no numbers of how many who is part of the Red-Tabara or their possible camps. Just that they are now also a part of the conflict inside the DRC. There has also been clashes between the FNL (Forces Nationale des Liberation), the rebels of the army. Therefore, the are plenty of obstacles already.
While the Allied Defence Force (ADF) is on a rebranding mission from being a Ugandan Muslim Military Operation, whose trying to invade Uganda. To become a jihadi organization for all of East Africa. The size of their operations is uncertain at this point. These has been steady attacking and killing in Beni. Where they have had massacres and working with other local militias to control the area.
While that is happening, the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) have deployed a 1000 of their newly trained and recruited LDU to the Uganda-Congolese Border. This is been done as a measure to secure the border. Clearly, also sending a message about the use of the LDU. Who was supposed to be a supportive unit of urban crimes, but now are an extra brigade for a possible warfare in the DRC. That is not a positive a sign. The first report of larger scale deployment was on the 15th October 2018, this might have been an escalation of that. But certainly hits a pattern.
This is proof of movement from two outside forces within the battle-torn and continued warfare in the region. Which seemingly doesn’t have an end. There are also still Mayi-Mayi militias, also Rwandan backed forces within the region too. There is FDLR-FOCA, whose size is uncertain, but bouncing around after a seismic split in 2016. Where in 2018, the DRC Operations of a militia named Mouvement Rwandais pour le Changement Democratique (M.R.C.D) who parts of it came from the FDLR. Who might also be criss-crossing the border region between Burundi/Rwanda and the DRC.
While there is nothing new that there are military movement from Rwanda and Uganda, where there both supply of arms, training and militia men. This being M-23 or other groups who was supported by military supplies from across the border. Therefore, if this would happen again. It wouldn’t be shocking or surprising.
The timing of all of this is perfect again. If it flairs up to extended levels and the government will have to suspend the elections again. So that, the ones running has to post-pone it again. Just in the nick of time to secure more illegal time for Kabila to rule. While so many more lives are taken, just so one man and his cronies can reign supreme.
What is for sure, is that this picture will be materialized and secured with time. What is worrying is the scale and the amount of players involved. As the Burundian forces are now into the mix, the Rwandan with both Ex-Rebels and Militias, who knows what stakes the Ugandan has. Other than adding more forces on the border. All of this is indication of more to come. There will not be silence.
When there is smoke, there is fire. In this instance, I am worried of the escalation and the levels of troops moving. Even as uncertain as it is. Because they have killed peacekeepers, there are foreign supported militias in the Kivu’s and there are tensions in the region. Peace.