The armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), also known as FARDC, have hailed the killing of Lt Gen Sylvestre Mudacumura, the overall commander of the military wing of the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
FARDC said the shooting of Mudacumura was a warning to other rebels hiding in Eastern Congo they faced similar consequences.
“The 34th military region of North Kivu confirms the death of Sylvestre Mudacumura, leader of the FDLR,” FARDC said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
The Congolese army further said Mudacumura was “killed with his closest lieutenants” during a military operation held in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in the chiefdom of Bwito, territory of Rutshuru.
The Rutshuru territory lies in the Albertine Rift between Lakes Edward and Kivu.
The eastern boundary is the international border with Uganda, and further south with Rwanda.
To the south is the Nyiragongo Territory, beyond which is the provincial capital of Goma.
To the east is Masisi Territory and Walikale Territory. The strategically important town of Kanyabayonga is just north of the territory on the road from Goma to Butembo.
The territory includes a large part of the Virunga Mountains and Virunga National Park.
ChimpReports today broke news about the killing of Mudacumura.
Pictures released by Rwandan officials who are working closely with Congolese special forces in North Kivu show Mudacumura’s lifeless body in a hut.
The fugitive, who was wanted for gross human rights abuses, was shot in the chest.
FARDC said the “neutralization of Mudacumura is good news for the Congolese army because he commanded the radical wing of the FDLR which opposed voluntary repatriation to Rwanda.”
The army further said the killing of Mudacumura was “a strong signal for the other rebels”.
The deceased previously served as the deputy commander of the Presidential Guard of the Rwandan Armed Forces during the 1994 genocide.