By James Tasamba
KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Forty-two militiamen from two armed groups active in the city of Uvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo have surrendered to government forces, the army said Wednesday.
The militiamen, from the armed groups Simba ya Pori and Nguvu ya Milima active in the Masangu area in the Mwenga and Mabunda territories, surrendered to Congolese armed forces (FARDC) Tuesday in Uvira in South Kivu Province, Captain Dieudonne Kasereka, military spokesman for Operation Sukola II in South Kivu, told local media.
According to the media report, the deputy commander of the Simba ya Pori militia group symbolically handed over a weapon to the administrator of the territory of Uvira, Alex Kasangala, in the presence of the urban security council.
The militias also laid down 15 weapons and 250 rounds of ammunition, it added.
The militiamen in two separate groups had reportedly responded to the government’s appeal for all armed groups in eastern DR Congo to lay down their arms for peace.
DR Congo's army said in January that more than 200 militiamen had surrendered following a crackdown on armed groups in the country’s volatile east.
The campaign is part of a wider operation launched last October.
The major army operation is ongoing in North Kivu province, where hundreds of civilians have been killed by Ugandan rebel group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).