The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army says it has arrested a powerful Rwandan rebel commander, Nshimiyimana Asifiwe, in the eastern city of Goma.
His arrest was proof that the military’s campaign against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in its forest hide-outs was yielding results, and some of the group’s fighters were now trying to “infiltrate” densely-populated areas, army spokesman Major Ndjike Kaiko told BBC Great Lakes.
He described Asifiwe as an “important” figure who was the assistant commander of an elite unit of fighters.
Asifiwe would be handed over to the Rwandan authorities, like other FDLR rebels who had been detained or had surrendered, Major Kaiko added.
In September, DR Congo troops killed the head of the FDLR’s military wing, Sylvestre Mudacumura, and another commander, Juvénal Musabyimana, the following month.
Major Kaiko said the military had also “neutralised” almost all positions of the Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), around the city of Beni.
“In a few days, we will have finished with this terrorist movement,” he added.
Eastern DR Congo is a major base for rebels from neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda – an issue which causes much diplomatic tension in the volatile region.
There are reports of the Rwandan military being involved in the operation against the FDLR, but both governments deny it.