200,000 (1994 SIL).
Orientale Province, Buta, Bambesa, Banalia, Aketi, and Bondo territories. Buta is center. Kiba is in Banalia territory; Benge and Bati in Aketi and Bondo territories.
Bati (Baati), Benge, Kiba, Leboa-Le, Yewu. Lexical similarity: 90% with Benge and Bati dialects, 80%–85% with Pagibete [pae], 60%–80% with Kango [kty], 60%–65% with Ngelima [agh], 55%–60% with Lika [lik], 48% with Komo [kmw], 43% with Bali [bcp], 37% with Ngombe [ngc], 35% with Budza [bja], 30% with Lingala [lin].
Some noun classes have suffixes in addition to the usual prefixes
Buta and Bambesa territories have similar dialects. Clan names: Bangingita, Bagunzulu, Bokipa. Different from Bua [bub] of Chad.