Congo's president has promised to neutralize Ugandan rebels that have killed hundreds of people in attacks this year in the country's east.

President Joseph Kabila made the promise Saturday during a visit to Oicha, the capital of Beni territory in Congo's North Kivu province. It is his first visit this year to the area.

Beni territory has been the site of repeated attacks by the Allied Defense Forces rebels, who have origins in neighboring Uganda. Those attacks have killed at least 500 civilians since October 2014, according to the United Nations.

Kabila, whose government has been criticized for not stopping the continued attacks, called on youths to enlist in Congo's army.

Eastern Congo is home to myriad armed groups, many vying for control of the region's vast mineral resources.