Congolese soldiers have killed a Hutu militia leader and four of his bodyguards in an operation near the DR Congo’s Ugandan border, it said in a statement Sunday.
Troops killed “Musabimana Juvenal, alias general Jean-Michel Africa… following an intense clash” on Saturday at Rutshuru in North Kivu province, said the statement seen by AFP.
“Operations remain under way around Rutshuru to wipe out armed local and foreign groups,” said regional military spokesman Major Guillaume Ndjike Kaiko.
Juvenal was a warlord with the ethnic Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) formed in the DRC in the aftermath of the 1994 Tutsi genocide in neighbouring Rwanda.
His killing comes barely two months after that of another FDLR commander, Sylvestre Mudacumura, in September. Mudacumura had been the subject of an international arrest warrant since 2012.
Rwandan Hutu refugees created the FDLR across the border in eastern DRC after the bloodbath which left some 800,000 dead according to UN estimates.
Early last month, five men arrested following an attack in northern Rwanda which left five dead admitted to being FDLR rebels.
Elsewhere in the troubled DRC, military sources said four civilians were killed late Saturday in an attack by Ugandan Muslim rebels near the northeastern city of Beni.
The sources said 25 insurgents from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia were killed over several days of clashes with the army losing six soldiers.
Saturday’s attack ascribed to the ADF occurred at Eringeti some 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Beni.
Regional army spokesman Mak Hazukai told AFP the army was “pursuing operations” against militia, adding the latter had suffered “heavy losses”.
Authorities in DR Congo hold the ADF, one of the most violent of some 130 active armed groups in eastern DRC, responsible for the massacre of hundreds of civilians in Beni since October 2014.
Since April, the Islamic State group (IS) has claimed responsibility for several of the attacks, but no proof has emerged of a link between it and the ADF. AFP