DRC - A Congolese Military spokesperson in the volatile Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) told The New Times yesterday that his country’s armed forces (FARDC) are committed to crushing what is left of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels.
This comes after the Congolese army announced last Friday the start of a fresh three-month military offensive dubbed Operation Amani Leo (Operation Peace Today) following the end of the previous UN-backed operation Kimia II.
Acknowledging that ‘there is a possibility of prolongation after the three months’ Maj. Sylvain Ekenge said that the whereabouts of the top FDLR military leaders is known and they will be hunted to the last number.
The FDLR are a combination of remnants of the former Rwandan army (ex-Far) and Interahamwe militia who spearheaded the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
They later fled to Eastern DRC and are believed to be the main cause of insecurity there.
“In the previous two operations we have significantly neutralized them (FDLR) and now we are bringing in more force – the police and the military to finish off their last elements,” Ekenge said on phone.
Maj. Ekenge said FDLR commander Maj. Gen. Sylvestre Mudacumura remains holed up in the North Kivu region of Walikale and will be ultimately captured, or killed.
“In these three months we will continue pressing hard on them with the help of MONUC – we aim to thoroughly hunt and completely wipe out the remaining 25 percent of FDLR.”
The UN mission in DRC (MONUC) whose mandate was recently been extended by the UN Security Council by another five months will supply the Congolese army with limited combat helicopters to deploy against the rebels.