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 24.com network.

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.


Rwandan Hutu rebels attacked in DRC

12 March 2014, 21:47

Goma - UN peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of Congo and government forces have attacked Rwandan Hutu rebels based in eastern borderlands, U.N. and Congolese officials said on Wednesday.

The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels have been involved in nearly two decades of conflict that spilled into eastern Congo after neighbouring Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

Government troops, backed by a United Nations brigade with a robust mandate to eradicate Congo's myriad eastern armed groups, won a rare victory last year against M23, a Congolese Tutsi rebel force that had been the FDLR's principal enemy.

Colonel Felix Basse, military spokesperson for the Congo mission, known as Monusco, said UN troops had deployed in the Virunga National Park in North Kivu province and were backing a Congolese offensive against the FDLR.

"Since Sunday, we have deployed our men and we have had contact with FDLR in that zone," Basse told a news conference in North Kivu's provincial capital Goma. He said two rebels had been killed in the fighting so far.

Basse said the 3 000-strong UN Intervention Brigade, made up of troops from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi, was taking part in the joint offensive. "These operations will continue. We have a mandate to protect the population and restore the authority of the state," he said.

The FDLR is made up in part of former Rwandan soldiers and Hutu militia who fled to Congo after taking part in the killing of 800 000 Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus 20 years ago. They are accused of civilian killings and rapes by rights groups.

While their numbers have dwindled to a few thousand in recent years, previous attempts to disarm the rebels have failed. They are considered one of the principal obstacles to durable peace in the mineral-rich zone.

"So far the FDLR have refused to disarm, which is why we have attacked. We will not stop until they lay down their arms," Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende said.

"We alone, or with the support of our partners in Monusco, must put an end to this threat against our populations."

Rwanda twice invaded Congo in the late 1990s to try to wipe out Hutu fighters, helping ignite two regional wars and countless smaller conflicts that killed millions of people.

Kigali has been accused of backing armed groups in eastern Congo, most recently by a panel of UN experts who say Rwanda armed and organised M23. Rwanda has denied this and says Congo's army is collaborating with the FDLR.

At the height of its 20-month rebellion M23 took control of Goma - eastern Congo's largest city - in the most serious threat to President Joseph Kabila's regime to date.

A UN experts' report in January said there were credible reports that the M23 continued to recruit fighters in Rwanda.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

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

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...