In memory of Colonel Richard Mwungura Bugumba: Five Years now You Suddenly Passed Away By Bineza Olivier

In 1973, the late Colonel Mwungura Richard Bugumba was born in Rubarati, a small village in Uvira Territory (South Kivu Province/DRC). At the age of 42 years, Colonel Mwungura passed away on 11th May 2015 due to a sudden death caused by a short illness. It took place when he was on-field conducting soldier operations. Col Mwungura has left behind a widow and 8 children.

Colonel Richard Mwungura is a third son of Samson Bugumba, a well-known 60s warrior (guerrier is a French) who fought the Simba-Mulele rebellion in Uvira High Plateau. Bugumba Samson was among those warriors who defeated the rebel group under Bidalira, Mushubazi, Zabuloni… under the overall command of Laurent Kabila, Gbenye and Mulele Pierre. The rebel group has had a support of the Cuban Che Guevara; who later realized that rebels were likely off track of their revolutionary ambitions. Mwungura was born within this volatile climate; and raised like any other child of his generation. He lost his mother at early age of four; nonetheless, he lived a healthy life with the rest of his family.

Facing sort of discrimination as had experienced many of his generation, Mwungura joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in Uganda. In 1990 when he was only 17 years old, he received his military training within RPF. He fought within RPF from 1991-1994 though he aimed to fulfill his dreams of living a Zaire where discrimination would be banned. In 1996, Mwungura was ready to execute his mission of fighting for his people in the former Zaire. After 6 years from the time he finished military training, he returned home where he acted as a soldier and commander for 19 years consecutive. Besides the general volatile context of the eastern Congo region, everywhere he went, Mwungura left a mark of peacemaking for the people who desperately needed it in different parts of DRC. Prior to his sudden death, he was a chief commander of the 332nd sub-sector operational within FARDC (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo)

Mwungura, as everyone used to call him, was known as a noble soldier for his country. As a matter of fact, FARDC and the President Joseph Kabila in 2018 resolved to recognize his efforts of a peacemaker 3 years after his death. He was then awarded a prize among other commanders who have served their country with devotion. He was and still seen as a hero figure within communities he has served; particularly to the Banyamulenge, the community which he also belongs to. We remember the late Colonel Mwungura for his efforts which he provided for the harmony and coexistence of community groups in South Kivu.

He exercised several positions as an Officer within the Forces Armées Congolaises (FAC), RCD, and FARDC specifically but not limited to:

1996 – 1997: Pelton Head of Infantry in LUBUMBASHI

1997 – 1997: Commander Company Infantry in MBOKO

1998 – 1998: Commander Battalion Infantry in SANGE

1998 – 1998: Commander Battalion Infantry in KAMITUGA

1998 – 1998: Commander Operational Zone Infantry in UVIRA (RCD)

1999 – 1999: Commander Infantry Brigade in KASAI (RCD)

2000 – 2003: Commander Brigade 2nd Infantry in KISANGANI (RCD)

2003-2010: Commander 15th Infantry Brigade in Kisangani, Butembo, Bunia, Rwenzori, Masisi, Rutshuru, Goma.

2010 – 2011: Commander 2nd Infantry Operational Sector in TSHIVANGA in South Kivu.

2011 – 2012: Commander 2nd Infantry Operational Sector in SANGE in South Kivu.

2012 – 2014: Commander 332S Operational Sector Infantry in NYAMAREGE in South Kivu. To his death.

He has also led several military campaigns, namely part of:

1996 – 1997: The Liberation War with the AFDL;

1998 – 2003: The War of Aggression with the RCD;

2003 – 2006: ITURI Pacification Operations;

2006 – 2009: The War against the CNDP;

20012 – 2013: The War against the M23 Insurgents;

2012 – 2014: The War against the FDLR (Foreign Armed Groups) and local arms groups refractory to the DDR process).

Colonel Mwangura was a brave officer who served his country. He was against any sort of manipulation and serving as an instrument to regional and powerful interests. He has opposed to be manipulated by any forces that intended to bring or cause destruction in DRC. He always took the initiative serving his people. In the course of continued wars against local population in southern part of South-Kivu, his community wishes that he was still present to rescue them as their government and former “allies” have left them to die.

“Our dear brother has just left us at a time when the Congolese Nation still needed him, and we will remain very and very grateful for his loyal service to the FARDC and to the Congolese nation as a whole” these are words of Mwungura’s fellow comrade on the day of his burial. The family, community and the nation will never forget your commitment in hard moments. For some of his background and services within different campaigns, please read: Feu Colonel Richard Mwungura Traître du Peuple de Beni : Désinformation ou Intoxication ?

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PhD fellow @ErasmusUnivRotterdam/ISS: Microeconomic Analysis of Conflict. Congolese, blogger advocating 4r Equitable Redistribution of Ressources & national wealth as well as & #Justice4All #DRC In the top of that, proud of being "villageois"

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