- The United Nations has strongly criticised systematic attacks on civilians by armed militias from Rwanda in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo saying they are only frustrating the joint Rwanda/DRC offensive to rid the group from DRC.
The UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUC) said Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) campaign of terror is undermining efforts to restore authority in the eastern province. "MONUC condemns these cowardly terror tactics," the mission said.
The mission has boosted its efforts to protect and reassure threatened populations, mostly in North Kivu province where some 250,000 civilians have been uprooted by fighting between Hutu groups, a mainly Tutsi militia led by General Laurent Nkunda and the Government since August 2008.
According to MONUC, the mission has intensified day and night patrols in a bid to prevent the FDLR from committing further atrocities against the civilian populations.
MONUC has also reported that members of the FDLR are largely refusing an offer of repatriation through the peacekeeping operation's disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR) programme.
"Congolese army troops have also been deployed in several sensitive zones where MONUC has operational bases, Pinga, Kashebere and Niabyondo and Kibua to further bolster the protection of civilians," MONUC said in the statement.
Last month DRC and Rwanda launched a joint military offensive against the FDLR, which consists of Rwandan Hutus who fled after the Hutu extremist genocide of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.
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