New York - The United Nations will suspend its support to the Congolese army in the fight against Rwandan combatants unless two generals accused of human rights violations are removed from the ranks, a senior UN official said on Wednesday.
The official told Raymond Tshibanda, foreign minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), last Friday that he had two weeks to remove generals Bruno Mandevu and Fall Sikabwe, who are on the UN's "red list" for alleged human rights violations.
The DRC announced last Thursday that its military would begin operations against the armed group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) that is based in the country.
Originally, plans had been made between the UN and the DRC for a joint operation; however, the country opted to carry out military action on its own, with the UN providing support such as logistics, fuel and food rations for troops.
Also read: 60 rebels surrender in eastern DRC
"The moment that the operation was announced, we discovered the appointment of two generals who are red generals - people who have been known to us as having been heavily involved in massive violations," the UN official said.
The UN noted that it was "not going to be in a position to support" the Congolese army as long as the two generals were involved.
The military operations come after FDLR combatants failed to surrender and demobilize by a 2 January deadline set by the Southern African Development Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.
The FDLR has been destabilizing the security and humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the DRC and also often crosses the border into Rwanda to stage attacks.