Rwanda Doesn’t Expect FDLR rebels to Disarm

Rwanda has expressed concern that FDLR rebels in DRCongo will not disarm despite the deadline set on January 2, 2015.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, told media Wednesday that Rwanda didn’t expect anything to happen on the deadline.

“We are not expecting anything to happen on January 2nd,” she said adding that, “It is not a magic date; magic would be a sudden change in attitude of politics about it.”

The Minister blamed the expected inaction on lack of political will from the actors involved.

She said that several attempts to disarm FDLR after it declined voluntary disarmament were postponed.

Disarmament deadline had been previously set at July this year, but was later extended to January 2, 2015.

Mushikiwabo said several meetings on FDLR resulted in many communiqués, resolutions and outcomes, but no disarmament yet.

Rwanda continues to push actors to have common understanding on the matter.

The DR Congo, Monusco (United Mission in DR Congo), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) are important actors in FDLR disarmament.

President Paul Kagame, on December 17, flew to Luanda, Angola to meet president Edouardo do Santos who currently chairs ICGLR.
On the agenda, the two leaders also discussed FDLR disarmament.

In a similar form, South African President Jacom Zuma met Uganda leader Yoweri Museveni on December 21 and the two discussed peace and security on the African Continent.

Meanwhile, Mushikiwabo says Rwanda doesn’t consider FDLR as a military threat, but a militia with a genocide ideology which should be dismantled.

“They (FDLR) are not a military threat to Rwanda. They should be disarmed, especially for the good of our people on the border with DRC; none would be happy to live nearby bandits.”

FDLR is made up of elements responsible for the Genocide against Tutsi in 1994 that claimed over a million lives.

By Jean de la Croix Tabaro & Dan Ngabonziza