MONUSCO to track down FDLR after M23
Goma, 10 December 2013 - MONUSCO Force Commander Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz said in an exclusive interview to Radio Okapi yesterday that the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) had launched offensive operations against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed group present in eastern D. R. Congo. The first offensive operation took place in the region of Kalembe located north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
General dos Santos Cruz said the decision is part of a vast plan aimed against local and foreign rebel groups active in the region. He also pointed out that his priority is to track down the FDLR and other foreign armed groups, including ADF/NALU (Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda), an action which in his own words “has already started and I intend to deprive the armed groups of any access to the civilian population”.
For members of these militia who intend to disarm willingly, the Force Commander said “it is important these groups disarm immediately and be reinstated into civilian life”.
The Intervention Brigade of MONUSCO has already launched an offensive against the NDC (Nduma Defense of Congo) in Pinga, resulting in the liberation of this town located 148 km northwest of Goma.
Concerning the security situation at the boarders General dos Santos Cruz said “It’s zero tolerance against these groups, and we are taking action against armed groups close to the border”.
The Force Commander also paid tribute to the FIB for their courage and dedication. Three Tanzanian soldiers of the FIB have already died while fighting the M23. “My message to the FIB as a whole is that we shall continue our mission with the same motivation for the benefit of the Congolese people”.