Rwanda announces Congo pullout

Troops to begin pulling out from eastern Congo next weeek.

    Rwanda says it has 'achieved its objectives' in hunting down FDLR members in eastern Congo [AFP]

    Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) troops have been tracking down members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which includes Hutus who took part in Rwanda's genocide, in 1994, which killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

    Slow retreat

    "Tomorrow they are going to issue [the orders]. They will begin pulling back slowly," Rutaremara said on Friday.

    "There will be a parade and then the troops will go back to Rwanda. All Rwandan troops will pull out," he added, saying the withdrawal would be completed by Wednesday.

    Some FDLR rebels took part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide and then fled to Congo, sparking years of violence as Rwanda's powerful Tutsi-led army then invaded its mineral-rich neighbour.

    Rwanda said it invaded Congo during the 1990s to hunt the Hutu force, but it did not defeat them and, in the process, Rwanda was accused of plundering Congo's resources and backing other Congolese rebels.

    Uganda is seeking an extension to its operation against LRA fighters in the northeast [AFP]
    Joseph Kabila, the Congolese president, also invited Uganda's army to hunt Ugandan rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northeast Congo.

    Uganda's offensive has triggered bloody reprisal attacks by LRA fighters who have killed nearly 900 civilians since the mission began in December.

    Human Rights Watch says over 100 people have been killed in reprisals by FDLR rebels, the US-based.

    Hundreds more, mostly children, have been abducted.

    Kabila said last month that the Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers had until the end of this month to complete their operations in the country, following criticism over his actions.

    Uganda is seeking an extension to its operation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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