US diplomat urges Congo, UN to join forces in fight against rebels in east

A top U.S. State Department official says the United Nations and Congo need to work together in the fight against rebels in the country's troubled east.

In February, the United Nations formally ended support for a Congo military offensive against the FDLR militant group after two Congolese generals linked to human rights violations were picked to lead the operation.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said the U.N. and Congo's army shouldn't "let any disputes between them delay cooperation."

Malinowski also voiced "concerns about shrinking space for civil society" as Congo prepares for elections in 2016. Congo briefly detained a U.S. diplomat in a March raid that targeted journalists and pro-democracy activists, accusing them of threatening stability.