DR Congo

DR Congo: Kivu - Fragile respite, army hints rwandan rebels to leave

News and Press Release
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A fragile calm is in the balance in North-Kivu, where there have been armed clashes between the CNDP rebels and the regular army in recent days. Local sources said that the weekend was calm, while tens of thousands of refugees forced to abandon their homes continue to move across the territory. Meanwhile, in Kinshasa, the Congolese army has asked Rwandan rebels from the FDLR to "repatriate voluntarily in their country" threatening "a strengthening" of their actions, as reported by Radio Okapi, which also said that the head of the armed forces in Kinshasa has also asked the FDLR "to immediately join the Nairobi process, in view of their repatriation or exile, in the respect of international conventions". In a communiqué, signed by the army's spokesman Leon- Richard Kasonga, the armed forces say that "they have already deployed in North and South Kivu 11 battalions backed by the UN mission (MONUC), in order to restore the state's authority and to apply a military plan against these illegal groups". According to the military spokesman, since December 2007, more than 1000 fighters were repatriated voluntarily to Rwanda. The governments of the RD Congo and Rwanda have approved, last December 16 in Goma, the creation of a 'permanent working group' to ensure the realization of the forced disarmament of the Rwandan origin militias, which since 1994, have been hiding in the forests located in the eastern RD Congo.