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Rwanda Says UN Sabotaging FDLR Disarmament

by Magnus Mazimpaka
11:53 pm

Credible information has emerged that the UN peacekeeping arm in DRCongo, (MONUSCO) is sabotaging efforts to disarm FDLR rebels.

A source in the Rwandan government told KTPress Friday afternoon that MONUSCO has downplayed the process for the rebels to peacefully lay down their arms.

FDLR was expected peacefully and voluntarily disarm on January 2, according to a UN resolution.

Regional leaders under the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), had also amicably agreed to the deadline and if not respected, the rebels face a military action.

“I have credible information that over 10 top MONUSCO leaders asked to go on leave towards today’s deadline,” said Jean Sayinzoga, Chairman of the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission.

Indeed KTPress has independently established that all top MONUSCO officials, including the UN special representative, Martin Kobler, are on leave.

An anonymous source within MONUSCO, who feared for being fired if mentioned, said Kobler left office last month and is expected to return in the second week of January, a week after the disarmament deadline.

There was no arrangement or preparation to receive and repatriate or accommodate any rebels in case they appeared with their guns.

“What else do you think was the motive of these leaders to request for immediate holiday?” Sayinzoga told KTPress.

Yet, earlier, Kobler tweeted that, “MONUSCO is fully ready to support a complete demobilization, disarmament, repatriation of reintegration of all FDLR.”

MONUSCO and Congolese armed forces are mandated with the task, but until Friday evening, both forces had remained silent.

The DRCongo Spokesperson, Lambert Mende, could not be reached for comment as he had switched off his cellphone all day.

The DRCongo Embassy in Kigali told KTPress they will only comment Monday next week.

No jittery mood at the boarder

Rwanda’s Military Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita, tweeted on Friday morning that after killing over a million people in Rwanda, FDLR continues to rape, kill and commit human rights abuses in DRCongo.

Despite a troubled experience with the rebels after launching several attacks and killing Rwandan civilians at the border with DRCongo, the situation was calm all day.

Hassan Bahame, the Mayor of Rubavu, the district bordering DRCongo, met with residents in every sector to offer them comfort and not to worry about any FDLR attack.

“Our security is tight as usual,” Bahame told residents.

Eminent military action

Rwanda is convinced the rebels are not willing to disarm.

On December 30, 2014, the US Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Russ Feingold, told local media that the United States supports the use of military force against the group.

He said the group has demonstrated that a voluntary surrender process will not work.

Instead, he said, “a military action must be undertaken to pressure the FDLR to lay down its arms.”

However, FDLR leader, Maj. Gen. Victor Rumuri, told our correspondent at the Rwanda-DRCongo, Sylidio Sebuharara, earlier in the day that his troops are not threatened and are ready for any action against them.

“We are not threatened by the pressure put on us by international community. We are doing what we are committed to do,” he said.

At the same time, hundreds of FDLR members have been defecting and surrendering.

A week ago, 155 rebels surrendered and have been received in Rwanda. However, an estimated 2000 rebels still remain at large.

Sayinzoga of the Demobilization Commission said Rwanda is ready to receive even 40000 rebels at ago.

Meanwhile KTPress has leanrt that the Congolese government has offered FDLR rebels a transit camp in Kisanga town as an escape route for those who dont want or wish to be repatriated to Rwanda.

South Africa Worried

Mind December 2014, South African President Jacob Zuma traveled to Tanzania and Uganda to speak to the leaders of the two countries after Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda agreed to attack the rebels with a formed East African Standby Force (EASF).

Predicting FDLR’s response, the EASF is already warming up for the deployment, after getting a thumbs up from the African Union’s Peace and Security Council.

Yet, SADC countries, led by South Africa, Tanzania and the DRC, are jittery over this possible military operation.

Zuma is concerned any militarily operation will disrupt his economic interests in the rebel occupied territory.

Sources says South Africa has mining, oil and gas investment.

But Gen. Nzabamwita said Rwanda has had enough and its time for a “military action now.”

By: Magnus Mazimpaka & Dan Ngabonziza