UN envoy hears of revenge attacks by Hutu militia on locals

A recent deadly attack by Hutu rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has left five children dead and hundreds of homes burned to the ground, village leaders told the head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUC) today.

The Secretary-General`s Special Representative Alan Doss was told that seven people were killed and 255 houses torched in Luofu, a locality of North Kivu province, by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which has been operating in eastern DRC since the 1994 genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.

While visiting Luofu, the UN News Service adds the official met with several chiefs to voice their security concerns resulting from the retaliation exacted on them by the FDLR, the target of a joint military operation conducted by DRC troops and Rwandan forces since January aimed at driving the rebel militia out of the area.

Doss assured the people of Luofu and the other localities that he will convey their message to the relevant Government officials and reiterated MONUC`s resolve to contribute to the restoration of peace to the region.

The temporary base of MONUC`s Indian contingent in the region will remain in place and be reinforced to protect the local population, stressed Doss.