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Rwanda Hutu rebels condemn 'terror plot' arrests

Rwandan Hutu rebels exiled in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have condemned the arrest of a group accused of plotting a grenade attack against the government in Kigali. Police in Rwanda arrested three men last Monday -- well-known musician Kizito Mihigo, radio journalist Cassien Ntamuhanga and former soldier Jean Paul Dukuzumuremyi -- accusing them of planning to attack the country's leaders in revenge for the assassination of Patrick Karegeya, a former spy chief and fierce critic of President Paul Kagame.

Congolese gunmen wound Belgian head of Africa's oldest park

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - The director of Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga Park - Africa's oldest national park - survived an attack by unidentified gunmen while driving through the country's volatile eastern borderlands on Tuesday, a colleague said. Emmanuel de Merode, one of Africa's leading conservationists, was shot four times on the road linking the park's headquarters in Rumangabo to Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

UN urges DR Congo to tackle impunity for rapes

The UN rights chief urged Democratic Republic of Congo authorities to "fight against impunity for crimes of sexual violence," as she presented Wednesday the latest UN report on the scourge. The United Nations documented 3,635 victims of sexual violence in DR Congo between January 2010 and December 2013, and nearly three-quarters of the victims were women, according to the new report from the UN joint human rights office.

Congolese militia boss Katanga appeals ICC conviction

Congolese ex-militia boss Germain Katanga and his prosecutors have appealed his war-crimes conviction for arming an ethnic militia that massacred scores of villagers in 2003, the International Criminal Court said Wednesday. The ICC convicted Katanga last month of complicity in the attack on Bogoro village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It found that he armed the fighters who carried out the massacre but cleared him of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.

UN Mission in DR Congo prepares withdrawal

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Wednesday it is preparing a gradual withdrawal from the country despite the continued presence of dozens of armed groups. Late last month, the UN Security Council renewed the mandate for one more year of its stabilisation mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) and its intervention brigade charged with "neutralising" foreign and domestic armed groups.

South Africa extends army's mandate in DR Congo

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday prolonged the mandate of over 1,300 soldiers as part of a UN peacekeeping force in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The deployment "has been extended from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015", Pretoria said in a statement on the same day regional leaders met to discuss the conflict. South African soldiers are part of a UN intervention brigade in the conflict-torn region, which has an unprecedented mandate to battle the armed movements long active in eastern Congo. Zuma also increased the force by six to 1,345.

World Bank approves funds to study Congo's Inga dam

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank's board on Thursday approved a $73 million grant to help the Democratic Republic of Congo develop an expansion of the Inga hydroelectric dam, potentially the largest hydropower site in the world. The money, combined with another $33 million from the African Development Bank, will fund technical studies to analyze the dam's environmental and social impact and ensure it is sustainable, the World Bank said in a statement.

DR Congo army recaptures rebel-held town after six years

The Congolese army said Monday it had recaptured the eastern town of Lukweti, which a small ethnic rebel group had controlled and used as its headquarters for six years. "We finally dislodged" Janvier Buingo Karairi, leader of the rebel Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS), said a spokesman for the Democratic Republic of Congo's armed forces. Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier Amuli told AFP that the army recaptured Lukweti, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of the regional capital Goma, on Saturday night.

U.N. and Congolese troops attack Rwandan Hutu rebels

By Kenny Katombe GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - U .N. peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of Congo and government forces have attacked Rwandan Hutu rebels based in eastern borderlands, U.N. and Congolese officials said on Wednesday. The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels have been involved in nearly two decades of conflict that spilled into eastern Congo after neighboring Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

ICC convicts DR Congo militia boss of war crimes

The International Criminal Court on Friday convicted Congolese ex-militia boss Germain Katanga of war crimes for arming an ethnic militia that carried out a 2003 village massacre with guns and machetes. "The chamber by majority finds Germain Katanga guilty... of complicity in the crimes committed on February 24, 2003," said judge Bruno Cotte. Katanga was convicted of arming the Patriotic Resistance Forces in Ituri (FRPI) who then committed murder and pillaging, but judges cleared him of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers in the attack on Bogoro village.
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