MASISI - One of the senior commanders of the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) was Wednesday morning shot and killed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Rwanda’s military spokesman, Major Jill Rutaremara told The New Times that Lt. Colonel Anaclet Hitimana, also known as Kabuyoya Gasarasi, fell into an ambush mounted by both Rwandan and Congolese forces at Kibuwa in Masisi region.
Two of his escorts were also killed in the joint operation meant to flush out and disarm FDLR rebels in the Congo.
“Three guns were also recovered together with communication equipment in the early morning operation,” said Rutaremara.
Sources say the death of Hitimana is a heavy blow on the rebels, most of whom were members of the former Rwandan army and Interahamwe militia responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda.
He was the deputy Brigade Commander of the Reserve Brigade of the FDLR. Military sources say this was the unit in charge of protecting the FDLR High Command but was also called upon to provide reinforcements to other units from time to time.
The week-old joint operation was a result of an agreement reached between DRC and Rwanda following several talks between security and political officials of both countries.
The FDLR are accused of being the main source of insecurity in eastern DRC with many reports singling them out for atrocities against the Congolese population.