Military action against Rwandan rebels 'inevitable'

The rebels, based in DRC, were given until January 2 to disarm and return peacefully to Rwanda

Military action against Rwandan rebels 'inevitable'
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has made the necessary preparations for imminent military action to disarm Rwandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"A deadline is a deadline; the plans are ready, the troops are ready. They have been fully briefed and they know what they are going to do," MONUSCO spokesman Col. Felix Basse told The Anadolu Agency.

The rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda group was given a six-month grace period to disarm, surrender and return peacefully to its native Rwanda. The deadline expired on January 2.

Basse said the UN, African Union, European Union, U.S. and Belgian special enjoys to the Great Lakes region had expressed dissatisfaction that the rebels had not met the deadline.

"The foreign special envoys agree that military action is inevitable," the spokesman told AA. "But we cannot reveal to the public when, where and how we intend to conduct this operation."

In a statement released on January 2 in Brussels, the international envoys said that, by failing to comply with the deadline, the rebels had left the international community no other choice but to pursue the military option against those members of the armed group who were unwilling to lay down their arms.

They called upon the DRC and MONUSCO to take all necessary measures to disarm the rebels.

MONUSCO includes a 3,000-member intervention brigade capable of conducting offensive operations against rebel groups in the region.

Abuses

Col. Basse noted that the rebels had exploited the six-month period "to continue to commit human rights abuses against innocent people in eastern DRC, recruit combatants, and champion its illegitimate political agenda."

He asserted that ending the threat posed by the rebel group was not the responsibility of the DRC alone, but "a regional and international responsibility."

Col. Basses said measures had been put in place to protect civilians and "avoid any collateral damage with the population" during the disarmament operation.

The 2,000-strong militia is the largest illegal foreign armed group currently operating in the DRC.

While there are a growing number of Congolese in its ranks, the group is drawn up primarily of officials from the Rwandan government and army ousted in 1994, along with Rwandan refugees.

It currently operates in eastern DRC's Katanga Province.

 

Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2015, 18:18
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