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5 killed in offensive on Rwandan warlord

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

Sylvestre Mudacumura, commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), was killed in DRC’s North Kivu province
Sylvestre Mudacumura, commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), was killed in DRC’s North Kivu province

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, said.

“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 60km 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 said.

“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 of 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. — AFP