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DRC playing delaying tactics on disarming rebels

by Magnus Mazimpaka
8:05 am

DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila has refused to give green light for a military operation against Rwandan rebels operating on his soil.

The development surfaced yesterday during a meeting for Defense Ministers from the Great Lakes Region in Lunda, Angola.

The military chiefs believe its time for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to be whipped out of DRC jungles.

They unanimously endorsed an immediate military offensive against the rebels.

The decision comes after a dozen requests calling FDLR to lay down their arms peacefully.

All participants dismissed the so-called FDLR “voluntary disarmament” as lacking any credibility.

While the military chiefs discussed stepping up an upper hand, DRC adamantly refused to sign on the agreement, pointing out that participants had refused to acknowledge “DRC’s prior efforts in addressing the FDLR matter.”

The ministerial meeting was proceeded by the Presidential Summit on the same subject. The summit is a regular event of the international conference on the great lakes region.

DRC’s Joseph Kabila, Uganda’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and Jacob Zuma of South Africa, attended the summit hosted by Angola’s José Eduardo dos Santos.

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo represented President Paul Kagame. She said Rwanda is concerned DRC is intentionally engaging in further delays in taking action against FDR. “Rwanda considers the deadline for action against FDLR long passed and warns against the delaying tactics and diversions,” she said.

Before the presidents began their discussions, some members of the ministerial meeting questioned the logic of subscribing to “FDLR voluntary surrender” as a pre-condition to military operations to eradicate the rebel group.

They reminded that this logic emanates from FDLR diversion tactics.

Heads of States recommended a Mid-term review to take place in October 2014 to assess the progress with the surrender process. Military operations will be initiated if assessment is not satisfactory.

They agreed that DRC provide a road map by October 2014 for the repatriation process, in the spirit of the Nairobi Declaration, of ex-M23 elements from Uganda and Rwanda where they remain a burden for the two countries.