DRC plans crackdown

NAIROBI - The Democratic Republic of Congo army plans a crackdown on Rwandan rebels in its lawless eastern region, the country said on Saturday following a meeting in Kenya between the African neighbours.

NAIROBI - The Democratic Republic of Congo army plans a crackdown on Rwandan rebels in its lawless eastern region, the country said on Saturday following a meeting in Kenya between the African neighbours.

The DRC will detail a plan by December 1 to disarm the insurgents with the help of the UN mission in Congo (Monuc), according to a joint statement following Friday's ministerial meeting.

The DRC will "launch military operations, as a matter of urgency, to dismantle the ex-FAR/Interhamwe as a genocidal military organisation in the DRC", it said.

Rwanda committed to seal its borders with the DRC to prevent the movement of any armed groups, in particular the renegade Congolese ex-general Laurent Nkunda, and to curtail any support for the armed groups.

The presence of the rebels, most notably a Rwandan Hutu militia known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda whom Kigali accuses Kinshasa of backing, has long strained ties between the two countries.

Rwanda accuses some of the rebels - estimated to number 6000 - of taking part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which the UN says resulted in about 800000, mostly Tutsi, dead.

But the country denies accusations that it is supporting Nkunda against the DRC. - Sapa-AFP

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