Supporters of the FNL position have begun developing arguments seeking to explain, if not excuse, the Gatumba attack. Several civil society groups from South Kivu have circulated their interpretation of events by electronic mail. They argue that the Banyamulenge were using the refugee camp to prepare an attack on the Congo, supposing in that way to legitimate the FNL action. They say that when FNL troops chased Burundian soldiers and police into the refugee camp, the Banyamulenge brought out their arms and engaged in the combat. Some of the ammunition stored by the Banyamulenge in the camp exploded after being hit by gunfire. This and cross fire accounted for civilian casualties. They assert that a number of Burundian soldiers were killed at the camp and that FNL agents in civilian dress saw their bodies being transported away by fellow soldiers after the combat was over.89
The FDLR published a press release asserting that troops of the Rwandan army were present in the camp.90 A group known as the Civil Society of South Kivu also claimed that the FNL had skirmished with these Rwandan army soldiers before entering the camp. This group also asked for the Congolese government to liberate the town of Goma from RCD-Goma, apparently meaning to replace RCD-Goma soldiers and administrators with persons from other parties to the transitional government. The same group asserted that the Gatumba tragedy resulted in part from the failure to observe the real border between Congo and Burundi. They asserted that in fact Gatumba belonged in Congolese territory and they appealed to the African Union to restore Gatumba to the Congo.91
This version is presented with less polish than the official version and has been disseminated more slowly but the potential extent of its impact should not be underestimated.
 Société Civile du Sud-Kivu, Analyse des faits sur les tueries des refugiés ressortissants de la RD-Congo perpetrées à Katumba (au Burundi), August 20, 2004, signed by thirty-six persons; Arche dAlliance, LEvolution de la Situation des massacres de Gatumba au Burundi voisin une semaine après.
 Agence France Presse, Gatumba: des rebelles rwandais affirment que larmée rwandaise est impliquée, August 21, 2004.
 Société Civile du Sud-Kivu, Analyse des faits sur les tueries des refugiés ressortissants de la RD-Congo perpetrées à Katumba (au Burundi), August 20, 2004, signed by thirty-six persons.