UN troops vow offensive against DRC rebels

World Today

The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) warned of a long fight against rebel groups in the east of the country. The U.N. and Congolese forces have driven militias back into the jungle in many parts of North Kivu. However, the population is still wary after decades of conflict in the region. CCTV America’s Guy Henderson reports the story from Beni in eastern DRC. 

UN troops vow offensive against DRC rebels

UN troops vow offensive against DRC rebels

The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) warned of a long fight against rebel groups in the east of the country. The U.N. and Congolese forces have driven militias back into the jungle in many parts of North Kivu. However, the population is still wary after decades of conflict in the region. CCTV America's Guy Henderson reports the story from Beni in eastern DRC.

Indian Commanders have established “area domination,” a 2,000-strong brigade tasked principally with maintaining a constant, visible presence. The patrols take place across North Kivu, and served as a reminder to armed groups that any offensive would be repelled.

The United Nations has arguably helped make the city of Goma more secure than it’s been in years.

“In the 18 months I have been here, we have been fortunate to have many successes,” General Santos Cruz said. “Part of that is because we have had the decisions of the Security Council to authorize the armed intervention Brigade which has been given a mandate to take action against armed groups.”

The people of Goma have seen years of on and off conflict.  While the streets were bustling, people remained wary. And just an hour’s drive east, the internally displaced were told it was safe to go home. Despite that Bulengo camp was cleared out last week by local authorities and officially closed, most of its 45,000 inhabitants have returned.

There’s still a strong international aid presence there, and for many, it was still safer than home. Military operations continue across the province.

“Everyone remains alert, that’s for sure,” Amadou Ba, a spokesperson for the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC, said. “But we have the means necessary to end the violence. We have given an ultimatum to the FDLR rebel group (that they have until) Jan. 2 to come forward. If they don’t, we are going to use force. The U.N. is determined to eradicate all armed groups in North Kivu.”

But civilians sometimes stone U.N. vehicles in Beni — nightfall often brings murder on a mass scale.