FDLR maintains grip on DR Congo minerals

Top rebel commander killed Fresh reports indicate that the rag-tag rebel outfit, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) continues to illegally exploit minerals in Eastern DR Congo.

Top rebel commander killed

Fresh reports indicate that the rag-tag rebel outfit, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) continues to illegally exploit minerals in Eastern DR Congo.

According to reports, the minerals that are being exploited mainly include coltan and cassiterite.

“There have been reports to our Military Observers by the local population that FDLR continues to remain present in the general locality, particularly in the area of Ruvungi, where FDLR combatants reportedly continue to control mining fields,” said Lt. Col. Jean-Paul Dietrich, the MONUC chief military spokesperson.

Dietrich revealed in a statement yesterday highlighting the current situation particularly in Walikale area of North Kivu province that FDLR controls Nkingwe and Irameso mines which are three and five hours walk from Ruvungi respectively.

Other FDLR controlled mines are at Charingwangwa and Irumba areas.

“The FDLR elements are well-armed and are in possession of satellite phones and radio equipment. One local source said that they use FARDC uniforms to disguise their identity during operations.”

Congolese civilians also endlessly suffer from the rebels’ brutality and are often killed, especially in Walikale.

“In Masisi Territory, five civilians were critically wounded on September 21 when suspected FDLR elements opened fire whilst looting Ibuga village.”

Meanwhile, operation Kimia II, the joint MONUC and Congolese army offensive against FDLR continues to repulse the rebels out of some of their garrisons.

In South Kivu, three localities, one of which hosted the FDLR “Gorilla Brigade HQ” were captured last week.

An FDLR commander was also killed from the same place. According to Dietrich, the commander who was killed was identified as Col Kasikisiki commanding the rebel group’s 22 Brigade.

He said that Kasikisiki was killed during an operation in Makola.

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