UN peacekeeper, DR of Congo troops and scores of Ugandan rebels killed in sweep

Report
from UN News Service
Published on 27 Dec 2005
A United Nations peacekeeper from India, soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and leaders of a Ugandan rebel movement were among the scores of people killed as the Congolese troops took back nine localities in the troubled eastern region of the country, the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) reported today.
The Indian peacekeeper who died Sunday was one of 1,000 MONUC forces supporting about 4,000 national Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) troops, who have been conducting operations against armed rebel groups so as to restore the authority of the Congolese State. Another four peacekeepers were wounded, with one of the four having been seriously wounded.

The operation, called "Ituri Eden," began north of the Ituri district's capital of Bunia against the armed group headed by Peter Karim Udaga, a former leader of the predominantly ethnic Lendu militia, the Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI), according to MONUC.

Some 1,500 FARDC soldiers, supported by 300 Nepalese peacekeepers, have been involved in the operation, pushing forces loyal to Karim in a northeasterly direction towards the Ugandan border. Several of Karim's followers were killed in firefights, the town of Nioka was cleared of armed former militiamen, and two of Karim's bodyguards were captured, in addition to 17 weapons and a truck loaded with precious woods, the mission said.

The FARDC casualties totalled 16 wounded and six dead, while the armed rebel groups were believed to have sustained around 90 casualties.

MONUC General Narena Satiya told the mission's Radio Okapi that two rebel leaders, whom he named as Parada and Amosi, were killed, another called Bosco fled into the hills of Ruhengeri, while a fourth, Luini, was seriously wounded.

In the radio interview FARDC General Mbuyi added that his troops seized several items, including 41 weapons and a solar panel.