Five killed in offensive on Rwandan warlord - DRC army

Thursday September 19 2019

fdLr rebels

In this file photograph taken on February 6, 2009, a pair of FDLR rebels stand in dense forest outside Pinga, Goma. PHOTO | LIONEL HEALING | AFP  

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A total of five people were killed in the offensive that eliminated a Rwandan Hutu rebel leader in DR Congo who was wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, the Congolese army said Thursday.

Sylvestre Mudacumura, commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), was killed in DRC's North Kivu province on Tuesday night as was his "secretary general", the military said.

"The final assessment: five killed, including Mudacumura and his secretary general, four captured and four weapons recovered," Colonel Sylvain Ekenge, a deputy military spokesman, told AFP.

"The body of the secretary general and the captured are coming to Goma very soon," he added.

Mudacumura, wanted for charges including rape, torture and pillage, was killed about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the capital of the province Goma.

Neighbouring Rwanda welcomed the news, saying it proved DRC President Felix Tshisekedi's commitment to fighting "negative forces".


"The death of Sylvestre Mudacumura is good news for peace and security in the region," Rwandan state minister for regional affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe told AFP.

"With his genocide group, the FDLR, he was destabilising DRC, killing Congolese and Rwandans."

The FDLR was created by Rwandan Hutu refugees in eastern DRC after the genocide against the Tutsis by majority Hutus in Rwanda in 1994.

According to the United Nations, the force numbers between 500 and 600 active fighters.

They are scattered across the mineral-rich eastern Congolese provinces of North and South Kivu as well as in southern Katanga, and the group is regularly accused of committing atrocities against civilians in the zones it controls.