UPDATE: Rwandan rebels kill 18 in volatile eastern DR Congo; as top leader arrested

The DRC has struggled for two decades to defeat dozens of local and foreign militias in the east of the country

SUSPECTED members of FDLR, a Rwandan rebel group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killed 18 civilians in a village in the volatile eastern part of the country, a local government official said.

The assailants armed with machetes attacked on Tuesday night and spoke Kinyarwanda, the main language in neighbouring Rwanda, the mayor of Beni town, Jean Edmoud Masumbuko, said by phone.

The government Wednesday said it arrested a leading Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda member in the eastern city of Goma.

Brigadier-General Leopord Mujyambere, chief of staff for the FDLR, was seized Wednesday and transferred to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, Information Minister Lambert Mende said by phone.

Mujyambere is being interrogated in connection with “crimes against innocent people,” Mende said, and no decision has yet been made on whether he will be extradited to Rwanda.

Congo, almost the size of Western Europe, is the world’s largest source of cobalt and Africa’s biggest miner of copper and tin. 

It’s struggled for two decades to defeat dozens of local and foreign militias in the east of the country including FDLR, some of whose leaders are linked to the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

-Bloomberg

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