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UN Withdraws Support for DRC Military Offensive

FILE - Soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) take part in a parade to mark the country's Independence Day through a street in eastern city of Goma, June 30, 2014

The United Nations says it is formally ending its support for a Democratic Republic of Congo military offensive against a rebel group because the DRC generals picked to lead the effort have been accused of human rights violations.

A U.N. official said Friday the DRC had been given two weeks to remove General Bruno Mundevu and General Fall Sikabwe, but the deadline has passed without their removal. The U.N. official said letters are now being sent to DRC authorities about the cessation of support.

The planned military campaign was against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, which officials say is composed of former soldiers and Hutu militiamen responsible for the 1994 genocide of Rwanda Tutsi minorities.

After the rebels failed to meet a January deadline to surrender, the U.N. wanted a joint military operation with the DRC army to go after the rebels. But DRC President Joseph Kabila instead declared his forces would lead the campaign, supported by U.N. peacekeepers.