The under fire Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwandaâ€”FDLR rebels have turned their anger on Congolese villages raiding peopleâ€™s homes and gardens. On Monday this week, the United Nations Intervention Brigade launched an offensive against the FDLR in the Kalembe area about 100 kilometers from Goma.
The FDLR, who have been operating inside the Democratic Republic of Congo—DRC since escaping from Rwanda after the 1994 Rwanda genocide, are now under attack since December 9th when the United Nations Intervention Brigade launched an offensive against them. The offensive is aimed at getting rid of the rebels from the North Kivu province of the DRC. It comes just over a month after a similar operation by the UN and DRC forces pushed the M23 rebels out of their positions near Goma city.
The rebels are said to have turned their anger on the villages in Kanyabayonga in North Kivu.
The local leader in charge of Kanyabayonga, Muhindo Lukira, says the rebels are attacking the villages of Ndaka,Kayanza, Iyobora, Mirangi, Kyaghala and Muhimole grabbing food and livestock. Reports from the area indicate that the locals are trapped in their houses and fear to move because the rebels have threatened to shoot any person who opposes their moves.
Muhindo further revealed that the government forces have not yet arrived in the area to act on the situation.
North Kivu Provincial governor Julien Paluku says he is optimistic that the ongoing offensive against the rebels will handle the situation and ensure that the locals are free to continue with their daily activities.
On Monday this week, the United Nations Intervention Brigade launched an offensive against the FDLR in the Kalembe area about 100 kilometers from Goma. The brigade revealed that the operations are intended to clear the Kitshanga-Kalembe-Pinga road.
Gen Dos Santos Cruz, who is commanding the UN forces in the DRC, says 200 troops backed by an attack helicopter have registered great success against the FDLR in the last two days. Santos says the rebels are not putting up any meaningful resistance.
The UN forces have also managed to secure and regain the control of the road that connects the towns of Kitchanga and Pinga.
The FDLR rebels are seen as a major security threat to neighboring Rwanda, a country that has complained of rebels using DRC territory to launch cross-border attacks. The FDLR is believed to be having about 1,500 fighters scattered in different locations in the North and south Kivu provinces of the DRC.
Rwanda has on several occasions been accused of backing the M23 rebels who were in October 2013 defeated by the UN brigade.