Rebels in DRC kill 6 soldiers

2014-04-30 19:07
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

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Kinshasa - A rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed six government soldiers on Wednesday during an attack on the army and the UN mission Monusco.

The attack was carried out by the Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) in the Nyabondo area, about 70km north of the regional hub Goma in the restive province of North Kivu.

Monusco's military spokesperson Felix-Prosper Basse told reporters in Kinshasa that one member of the UN force and three other soldiers were also wounded.

Basse accused the APCLS of opening fire on civilians during the raid, which he said forced hundreds of families to flee their homes and seek Monusco protection.

The spokesperson also said the UN and Congolese regular forces, who have for months been attempting to clear North Kivu of its myriad rebel groups, had swiftly regained the upper hand.

Monusco gunships were brought into action to hunt down the rebels, Basse said.

Genocide

In mid-March, the UN's special intervention brigade and the Congolese army recaptured the town of Lukweti - north of Nyabondo - which the APCLS had used as its headquarters for six years.

The APCLS, believed to number some 500 men, was founded in early 2008, consisting almost exclusively of members of the Hunde ethnic group.

Against a background of land ownership disputes, it battled against the presence of ethnic Tutsis in North Kivu, refusing to recognise their right to Congolese citizenship.

Congolese and UN forces are also battling fighters from the ADF-Nalu, a Ugandan Islamist group, and the FDLR, a Rwandan Hutu militia that includes some of the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.

The government forces' most significant victory came in November 2013 with the defeat of the M23, a mainly Tutsi rebel group of army defectors which had briefly occupied Goma.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa
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