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Rwanda Military Arrests DRC Rebel Leader Nkunda


Major Jill Rutaremara, the Rwandan military spokesman, said that General Laurent Nkunda was arrested for obstructing military operations currently being carried out jointly by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a surprising turn of events the two countries announced earlier this week that Congo would allow Rwandan soldiers on its soil to assist in fighting the FDLR, a well-armed group of Hutu rebels accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda.

Before the operation began, Nkunda's authority of his own rebel group, the CNDP, was challenged and many of his officers, led by General Bosco Ntaganda, joined forces with the Congolese army to fight the FDLR.

More than 1,500 Rwandan troops crossed into the DRC Tuesday to help Congolese troops hunt down and disarm Rwandan Hutu rebels who fled to the country in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Capt. Olivier Hamuli, military spokesman in DRC, confirmed that Nkunda had been arrested in Rwandan territory last night. The arrest was made after Nkunda ordered his troops to resist Congolese soldiers.

Nkunda's forces have been fighting the Congolese army since he defected in 2004. Nkunda, who is a Tutsi, claimed to be protecting the Tutsi of eastern Congo from the FDLR. The last fighting between Nkunda and the army occurred late last year, and left 250,000 people displaced in eastern Congo.

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