- United Nations officials have condemned recent rebels attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as coward and acts of outlaws.
In a statement today, a top UN envoy in the DRC has condemned the raid carried out by Rwandan rebels on a village in the north-eastern part of the country, which sent residents fleeing into the nearby bush.
Alan Doss, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MONUC), said the attack shows once again that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwandan (FDLR) rebels are “outlaws.”
According to a news release issued by MONUC, the rebels raided the north-eastern village of Butolonga on the night of 8 May, firing guns and burning houses. Around 131 houses were reported burned, and two Congolese soldiers killed.
UN peacekeepers dispatched to the scene found the village empty as residents had fled into a nearby bush. They are only now returning to their homes, the Mission noted.
The ethnic Hutu rebel FDLR have recently been carrying out retaliatory attacks against civilians after being targeted by a joint Congolese and Rwandan military offensive. The group has been operating in the eastern DRC since the 1994 genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says an estimated 100,000 people in the eastern province of South Kivu have been displaced by fear of armed groups since the beginning of the year.
The FDLR and other Rwandan militias have also been a key factor in the resurgence of violence in North Kivu province, where another 100,000 civilians have been uprooted by fighting in the past two months, in addition to the many hundreds of thousands previously displaced, said the UN office.
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