UN troops launch offensive against Rwandan rebels in DR Congo

UN peacekeeping troops in Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an offensive against Rwandan ethnic Hutu rebels operating in the eastern part of the country, the UN command said Wednesday.

"MONUSCO's intervention brigade launched operations against the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) yesterday, Tuesday, in Kalembe, in the Masisi region," the mission said on Twitter.

MONUSCO is an acronym for the UN mission in DR Congo.

Earlier this month the UN authorised its peacekeepers in the strife-torn country to go after armed groups and militias operating there.

After their successful defeat last month of M23 rebels, the UN and the Congolese government had announced that the FDLR would be their next target.

The FDLR is made up of Hutu rebels based in Congo since they fled Rwanda after the genocide in 1994, some of whom are accused of taking part in the massacre of ethnic Tutsis.

Their avowed aim is to overthrow the Rwandan government, but in recent years they have preyed mainly on Congolese civilians.

M23 rebels had often accused the Congolese army of joining forces against them with the FDLR.

MONUSCO forms one of the two biggest UN missions in the world, along with the force in Darfur, Sudan.