POSTED: 2:12 a.m. HST, Mar 13, 2012
KINSHASA, Congo >> A military official says a top Rwandan rebel leader who had been fighting in Congo has turned himself over to the military and is now in the hands of the U.N. mission in Congo.
Col. Sylvain Ekenge says that 15 other members of the Rwandan Hutu militia, known by its French acronym FDLR, in the same area have also turned themselves over along with 74 of their family members.
Ekenge said Tuesday that Lt. Col. Idrissa Muradadi and three of his bodyguards surrendered on March 10. His surrender follows a new military offensive launched Feb. 15 and backed by U.N. peacekeepers to flush out the FDLR, after the rebels carried out a series of attacks.
The FDLR has terrorized eastern Congo for years, launching brutal attacks on civilians. The Congolese government has unsuccessfully attempted to eradicate the group, which crossed into Congo following Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.