He had been wanted for several decades. Sylvestre Mudacumura, the supreme leader of the Rwandan Hutu rebels Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who has been living in eastern DR Congo for 25 years, much to the dismay of Kigali, was shot dead in the night from Tuesday 17 to Wednesday. September 18 in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced the Congolese army.
Referred to by an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in July 2012, he was killed some 60 km from Goma. He was prosecuted for war crimes committed in the provinces of North and South Kivu in 2009 and 2010.
"Sylvestre Mudacumura was definitively neutralized by our army and was shot dead in the Bwito group", located in the North Kivu province, on Tuesday night, General Léon-Richard told AFP Kasonga, spokesman of the army.
"The neutralization of Sylvestre Mudacumura is good news for the Congolese army because it was at the head of the radical FDLR branch which opposed voluntary repatriation to Rwanda and its neutralization is a strong signal for the other rebels" , added the officer on the Twitter account of the army.
Fighters scattered in North and South Kivu
He was the FDLR's supreme commander, whose fighters are scattered in the Congolese provinces of North and South Kivu, as well as in northern Katanga.
The Rwandan rebellion of the FDLR was created by Rwandan Hutu refugees in eastern Congo after the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 (which killed more than 800,000 people, according to the UN). They are opposed to the power of Kigali.
The founders of this movement, as well as a number of its veterans, are being sought by international justice for their active participation in the genocide and massacres of moderate Hutus.
The FDLR has not carried out any major military action in Rwanda since 2001. They are regularly accused of committing atrocities against civilians in areas under their control in eastern DR Congo, forcibly recruiting children and loot villages, besides engaging in lucrative gold and timber trade.