More than 600 Rwandan Hutu rebels have been killed or captured since January in an operation backed by the U.N. mission to the country, the Congolese army said March 17. A total of 609 members of the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) had been “neutralized since the start of operation Amani Leo, on Jan. 1, and a large quantity of arms had been recovered,” said army major Sylvain Ekenge without giving a breakdown of the figure. U.N. troops are backing the DRC Congo army in operation Amani Leo, meaning Peace Now in Swahili, which is targeting the FDLR in the two Kivu provinces bordering Rwanda. The offensive in Nord and Sud-Kivu follows operation Kimi II led by the Congolese army from March to December 2009, also against the FDLR. The operations aims to repatriate rebels including many of whom took part in the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and who are also illegally exploiting mineral resources in the region. (AFP)

About the author