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Rwandan Militia Leader Wanted for War Crimes Killed in Congo

FILE - A fighter from the FDLR rebel group stands guard deep in the bush of eastern Congo, Feb. 6, 2009. Sylvestre Madacumura, the commander of a Rwandan Hutu militia wanted for alleged war crimes, was killed in Congo's North Kivu province.

The commander of a Rwandan Hutu militia wanted for alleged war crimes has been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sylvestre Madacumura, leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), was killed Wednesday morning in Congo's North Kivu province, according to military sources in the region who spoke to VOA's Central Africa service.

The Congolese army confirmed the death on Twitter. It said army forces killed Madacumura in Rutshuru territory, near the borders with Uganda and Rwanda.

"The neutralization of Sylvestre Mudacumura is good news for the Congolese army," said the statement, "because, he was at the head of the radical wing of the FDLR who opposed voluntary repatriation to Rwanda and its neutralization is a strong signal for the other rebels."

Rwandan militia groups have operated in eastern Congo since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Madacumura in 2012. ICC prosecutors said Mudacumura was responsible for nine counts of war crimes, including murder, rape, torture, mutilation and destruction of property.

It said the alleged crimes took place in Congo's North and South Kivu provinces between January 2009 and September 2010.