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26 Nov 2004 17:52
A Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) soldier has been killed in the east of the vast central African country in an attack by Rwandan rebels, a DRC army officer told reporters on Friday.
“The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) launched a surprise attack against one of our positions near Walungu, around 80km southwest of Bukavu, and killed one of our soldiers by cutting off his arm,” said the officer, who asked not to be named.
The DRC army is currently organising an awareness-building campaign in eastern DRC aimed at disarmind Rwandan rebels, who fled to the DRC after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, for which they carry most of the blame.
The army campaign calls on the rebels to lay down arms and sign up for a UN repatriation programme, a military spokesperson for the Sud-Kivu region, Lieutenant Kasanda wa Kasanda, said.
“Apparently the FDLR did not understand the message that the army and Monuc (the UN mission in the DRC) were trying to get across, which was for them to return peacefully to their country,” the DRC military chief for Sud-Kivu province, General Felix Budja Mabe, said.
“They must leave the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he added.
The FDLR is accused by the government of Rwanda of having carried out many of the massacres during the genocide, in which between 800,000 and one million people died, mostly Tutsis. -Sapa-AFP
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