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UN Security Council urges "swift neutralization" of Rwandan rebel group in DRC

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for "swift neutralization" of a Rwandan rebel group operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in order to bring stability to the country as well as the Great Lakes region.

In a press statement issued here, the 15-member Council " regretted that no significant progress was made" toward the neutralization of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which announced earlier this year that they would lay down their weapons, with some starting to disarm in May.

"The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the swift neutralization of the FDLR as a top priority in bringing stability to the DRC and the Great Lakes region," said the statement. "They expressed deep concern regarding the sustained domestic and regional threat posed by the FDLR, including recent reports of continued human rights abuses by members of the FDLR and continued recruiting and training of combatants, including children, and stressed the importance of disarming and ending the threat caused by this illegal armed group. "

The FDLR is a Hutu rebel group that fled Rwanda after perpetrating the Tutsi genocide in 1994 and has since conducted its operations in the eastern part of the DRC.

According to Martin Kobler, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative in the DRC and the head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) who briefed the Security Council on the country's situation earlier this month, there are still some 1,500 of the FDLR combatants remaining active and not conforming to the DRC's six-month voluntary disarmament plan, though the FDLR appears to start to voluntarily disarm.

In its statement, the Security Council also "encouraged the DRC government, in coordination with MONUSCO, to actively pursue military action against those leaders and members of the FDLR who do not engage in the demobilization process or who continue to carry out human rights abuses."

In 2013, the council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within MONUSCO to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC.

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