Late Saturday evening Sept. 18, an attack was carried out on the airport in Bujumbura, Burundi, from where President Evariste Ndayishimiye was to take off for New York.
The attack that took place at around 11 p.m. was claimed shortly thereafter by the Burundian rebel group Resistance for the Rule of Law in Burundi (RED-Tabara).
This spectacular attack caused virtually no damage. At least three 82 mm mortar shells hit the Melchior-Ndadaye International Airport northwest of Bujumbura. The shots were heard as far away as the city center, located about ten kilometers from there.
According to local sources, two shells exploded, causing “minimal” damage, while the third did not explode. And this had no impact on air traffic.
The RED-Tabara rebels linked their attack to the departure of President Evariste Ndayishimiye this Sunday evening for New York, where he will attend the UN General Assembly this week.
On the Burundian side, it is radio silence. A senior army officer believes that this is a communication operation on the part of the RED-Tabara rebels, who are accused of being behind numerous attacks and deadly ambushes since the 2015 crisis. As a result, no journalist, no local media has dared to mention this incident until now.