The army of the DR Congo, the FARDC, has commenced a new military operation, Amani Leo, to replace Kimia II, their operation in the eastern parts of DR Congo that received damaging criticisms over alleged human rights violations. The new mission will again be targetting the FRLR and other militia groups, with protecting civilians as a principal objective.

Once more, the army's mission will be supported by MONUC, the UN mission in DR Congo. A joint directive of MONUC and the FARDC declared:

“Joint planning is essential to map out the areas of risk and determine the most effective organization and deployment of our forces. Protection of civilians has been the central concern in our planning.”

The allegations against the Kimia II operations were extremely strong; for a robust defence of the operation, read this by Alan Doss of the UN. It will be interesting to see how in practice the Amani Leo operation turns out to be from Kimia II. Over the coming months,  our Local Correspondent for DR Congo, Floribert Kazingufu will continue to give a ground-level view of the conflict in this region.

Posted by Ruairi Nolan, Insight on Conflict, 12 January 2010