[QODLink]
Africa
Congo and Rwanda to rein in militia
Military plan aims to tackle Hutu militia blamed as key cause of conflict in DR Congo.
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2008 02:49 GMT
Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by the conflict in eastern Congo [Reuters]

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have agreed on a military plan to disband a Rwandan Hutu militia seen as a key cause of conflict in eastern Congo, according to the Congolese foreign minister.

Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said on Thursday that the plan to tackle the militia was agreed with his Rwandan counterpart Rosemary Museminali in Goma, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, where weeks of fighting have displaced a quarter of a million people.

The conflict pits Tutsi rebels led by renegade General Laurent Nkunda against the Congolese army and Rwandan Hutu fighters from the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Nkunda cites the presence in east Congo of the FDLR, which allegedly includes perpetrators of Rwanda's 1994 genocide of Tutsis by Hutus, as the main justification for his Tutsi rebellion, which has conquered fresh territory in recent weeks.

Mwamba said the joint plan, whose details he refused to reveal, would be signed on Friday.

"The FDLR must either go back to Rwanda or become non-combatant in Congolese territory," he told reporters.

Museminali said the militia was "actually the root cause of the insecurity that we see around".

The Congolese minister said implementation of the plan could involve friendly outside forces, such as the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUC) or soldiers from the southern African SADC bloc, which has offered troops to help pacify east Congo.

Nkunda has declared a ceasefire with the Congolese government army, but his Tutsi fighters are still battling the FDLR, whose existence some believe is at the heart of the persisting fighting in North Kivu.

United Nations peacekeepers in DR Congo fear that without a political settlement the violence could escalate into a repeat of the wider 1998-2003 regional war that devastated the DR Congo.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.