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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
UN forces flush out Rwanda rebels
FDLR rebels
The FDLR want security guarantees before returning to Rwanda
United Nations peacekeepers have burnt down the main Rwandan rebel base in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after calling on the rebels to leave.

Some 800 of the rebels fled into the surrounding mountains as UN troops set their mud huts ablaze.

The BBC's Arnaud Zajtman in the eastern village of Miranda says residents fear a revenge attack as the UN force has flown out of the area.

The UN wants the rebels to disarm and return to Rwanda.


Much of DR Congo's South Kivu region is under the control of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), accused of responsibility for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

They say they do not want to go back to Rwanda unless they are granted amnesty.

No-go area

The FDLR's political wing and senior commanders were based in the camp in Miranda, our correspondent says.

The UN made contact with them, warning them to pull out of the area at the start of Operation Falcon Sweep to push the rebel forces back home.

After they failed to comply, some 1,200 UN troops arrived on Wednesday by helicopter to flush out the rebels in a joint initiative with the Congolese army.

Our reporter says Congolese soldiers are expected to deploy to the mountains outside the town of Bukavu in a few days time, which until the UN swoop was a no-go area for them.

Nobody was injured in the UN mission, but our correspondent says that civilians, while pleased that the rebels have left, are scared they will come back and take revenge before the army arrives.

They say the rebels are some 5km away and have threatened to return at night, accusing the villagers of co-operating with the UN.

The presence of the Rwandan rebels has led to years of fighting in eastern Congo.

Rwanda has twice invaded, saying it is trying to wipe out the rebels. They were supposed to have been disarmed under a 2003 peace deal.

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