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Congo major had piss-up with rebels

Suspended for failure to properly conduct a civil war

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A Democratic Republic of Congo army major has been suspended after inviting rebels for a few liveners at his base - hours before they rather churlishly repaid his hospitality by torching part of the facility.

According to Bloomberg, Major Leon downed a couple of jars with members of the Resistance of Congolese Patriots, aka Pareco, at the camp in Nyamilima, roughly 100 kilometres north of North Kivu capital, Goma.

Confirming the 26 September knees-up, Colonel Bobo Kakudji, operational head for eastern North Kivu province, said: “He was drinking with them in his headquarters. Actually, they were doing reconnaissance. Then they attacked him and he didn’t defend the way he should have done.”

Major Leon's goodwill towards Pareco may have something to do with the fact that the local militia group previously supported a government and United Nations drive to oust the ethnic Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) from eastern Congo.

FDLR leaders are implicated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. A previous Bloomberg report says Pareco and the Tutsi-led rebel National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) agreed to join the anti-FDLR initiative when Congo allowed Rwandan troops to enter the country as part of the operation.

This anti-FDLR concession was considered a "brave step" by the Congolese, a fair description given that the CNDP - reportedly made up of Congolese army defectors dedicated to protecting Tutsi interests* - last year routed their former comrades in bitter fighting which drove 250,000 people from their homes. ®

Bootnote

*Congo has in the past been accused of taking a soft line on the FDLR, while itself insisting that Rwanda backs the CNDP. Both countries deny the charges.

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