DR Congo: UN mission condemns ‘terror tactics’ used by Rwandan Hutu rebels
The Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) is conducting a campaign of terror, systematically raping, murdering, looting and abducting civilians in an attempt to undermine the joint Rwanda/DRC military offensive aimed at ridding the group from the DRC, the mission – known by its French acronym MONUC – stated in an information note.
“MONUC condemns these cowardly terror tactics,” the mission added, noting that the tactics used by the group are aimed at frustrating efforts at restoring State authority to its former strongholds.
The mission has boosted its efforts to protect and reassure threatened populations, mostly in North Kivu province where some 250,000 civilians have been uprooted by fighting between Hutu groups, a mainly Tutsi militia known as the CNDP, the Government army and others since August.
The blue helmets have intensified day and night patrols in a bid to prevent the FDLR from committing atrocities against the civilian populations.
Congolese army troops (FARDC) have also been deployed in several sensitive zones where MONUC has operational bases: Pinga, Kashebere and Niabyondo (Masisi territory) and Kibua (Walikale) to further bolster the protection of civilians.
Last month, in a move supported by MONUC, DRC and Rwanda launched a joint military offensive against the FDLR, which consists of Rwandan Hutus who fled after the Hutu extremist genocide of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.
MONUC has also reported that members of the FDLR are largely refusing an offer of repatriation through the peacekeeping operation’s disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR) programme.