Bukavu, 16 February 2012 – The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Congolese Armed forces (Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo - FARDC) launched on 15 February 2012 a military operation called “Amani Kamilifu” (strengthening peace) against rebel elements of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in the territories of Shabunda, Mwenga, Kalehe and Kabare, Sud Kivu province.
The operation, which is planned to last about two months, aims at tracking down some 500 FDLR elements in this province of the country’s far eastern region.
FDLR attacks in Shabunda territory increased at the beginning of January 2012, with retaliation against villages that are allegedly supporting the Mayi-Mayi Raï Mutomboki, a local self-defense group. These attacks, which resulted in the death of nearly 45 people, were marked by lootings and destruction of property. This resulted in the displacement of thousands of people.
The first action of MONUSCO to protect the civilian population was to organize motorized patrols in all the areas accessible by road. Then, the mission’s Brigade organized aerial reconnaissance and surveillance missions with the FARDC in order to collect information and start a static combat deployment.
Following these actions, the Commander of the Sud Kivu Brigade and the FARDC authorities decided to conduct a joint operation called “Amani Kamilifu” against the FDLR.
Biliaminou Alao/ MONUSCO