Army attacks DRC rebels on its own

2015-02-24 21:26
Congolese army soldiers march past a tank aimed towards Kibumba Hill, which is occupied by M23 rebels, around 25kms from the provincial capital Goma, in eastern Congo. (Joseph Kay, AP)

Congolese army soldiers march past a tank aimed towards Kibumba Hill, which is occupied by M23 rebels, around 25kms from the provincial capital Goma, in eastern Congo. (Joseph Kay, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - Government forces launched strikes against Rwandan Hutu rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, military officials said, in the first combat since last month's announcement of a campaign to stamp out the group.

The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), whose ranks include former soldiers and Hutu militiamen responsible for Rwanda's 1994 genocide, have been at the centre of nearly two decades of violence in eastern Congo.

Tuesday's fighting took place in South Kivu province in the hills inland from the lakeside town of Uvira, which sits some 10km from the border with Burundi, Espérant Masudi, the provincial commander of operations, told Reuters.

Another officer with the army, known as the FARDC, said the assault, launched early in the morning, had captured all the FDLR's strongholds in the area.

"The FARDC launched a large attack in the Moyen Plateau of Mulengem... It was a well-planned operation," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He added that no casualty count was yet available but said the army had met only light resistance from the FDLR, whose fighters can melt into eastern Congo's rugged landscape when confronted.

A spokesman for Congo's United Nations peacekeeping mission, Monusco, said that he was unaware of any combat.

While the FDLR has a presence in South Kivu, the bulk of its estimated 1 400 fighters are believed to operate in neighbouring North Kivu province.

The army announced on 29 January the start of the long-awaited campaign against rebels, whose presence in Congo was used as a pretext for military interventions by Rwanda that helped spark successive wars in Congo, killing millions.

The FARDC is carrying out the operation alone after rejecting support from Monusco. The decision followed a row over two generals involved in the campaign whom the United Nations suspects of human rights abuses.

Read more on:    monusco  |  fdlr  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.