Congo troops push back rebels

AFP-JIJI

Advancing government troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo cleared rebels from strategic positions in the restive east, local and army officials said Sunday, as the fighting claimed the life of a U.N. peacekeeper.

The FARDC regular army took back control of both the city of Rutshuru and the rebel-held town of Kiwanja, home to a base used by the U.N. mission MONUSCO that had been repeatedly looted by rebels, said Julien Paluku, the governor of North-Kivu province.

MONUSCO said a Tanzanian officer was killed in Kiwanja, where United Nations forces joined the army to drive out rebels on the third day of clashes since a fresh flare-up in violence Friday. The circumstances of his death were unclear, the U.N. force said. The soldier was the third Tanzanian with the U.N. brigade killed in recent months.