What Next for FDLR

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By the end of October, the Congolese government plans to close the camp which houses around 850 former Rwandan FDLR Hutu and their relatives, TOPAFRICANEWS has learnt.

The ex-combatants had voluntarily surrendered in 2014 under the disarmament, demobilization and repatriation Programme.

However the former combatants of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have not yet agreed to return voluntarily and peacefully to Rwanda, their homeland.

DRC Government said they should leave the camp by force if they refuse to abide with the camp closure regulations.

Moreover, the UN mission in the DRC, which until then had provided them with drinking water and food, has not done so since last August 31st.

They said that “Monusco stops all its activities in our camp and that it will not take care of us anymore, “explains Faustin Mugisha, the representative of these former FDLR combatants.

“ This year, when we received a delegation from the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with ICGLR [International Conference on the Great Lakes Region], SADC [Southern African Development Community] and Monusco [UN Mission], they [have] declared that we must return home unconditionally.” He said

This forced return to Rwanda worries the spokesperson of the FDLR who, he, continues to propose the dialogue with Kigali as a preliminary to their repatriation.

A proposal rejected by Kinshasa.

According to Lambert Mende, spokesman for the government, Kigali assured that the safety of returnees would be guaranteed, and that is enough: “The bottom line is that we are sure they are safe. And in this regard, our neighbor Rwanda is committed to ensuring their safety that is enough for us. The dialogue stories do not concern us, “says Lambert Mende interviewed by RFI.

According to Lambert Mende, the Congolese families of these ex-FDLRs will have the choice of either following them in Rwanda, or remaining in the country and returning to their village of origin.

According to Monusco sources, the mission was only responding to an emergency humanitarian situation by providing water and food to the former FDLR in this camp since 2016, which was however the responsibility of the Congolese government.

Release of Ingabire Victoire and FDLR issue

There were various reports linking Ingabire Victoire with FDLR combatants in past.

When arrived in Rwanda, Ingabire was arrested due to her political agenda which was a threat to the process of Unity and reconciliation among Rwandans who have been struggling with the healing of the scars caused by the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis

Ingabire Victoire whose sentences were commuted on Friday by Presidential prerogative following her most recent applications for clemency in June this year, has been in International Newspaper Headlines most of them alleging that Kagame is squeezing the political opposition in Rwanda with the example of Ingabire as role model of them.

The truth of the story is that Ingabire Victoire’s political agenda was not far from the same agenda of the FDLR.

In the meantime this website is not yet to establish the real message Ingabire wrote in her letter requesting pardon for her wrongdoings during her first days of political campaigns.

The release of Ingabire Victoire surely is going to disturb many opposition groups outside Rwanda including the FDLR and their supporters.

No Dialogues with FDLR

Rwanda has on various occasions emphasized that there should be no political dialogues with the FDLR.

The International Community has described the DR Congo-based Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) as “an armed group espousing genocide and should be treated as such.”

In Rwanda’s constitution there is no room for groups espousing a genocide ideology.

The decision to give the FDLR the disarmament window followed the militia group’s public promise to voluntarily demobilise, which saw them send a few fighters and weapons to assembly points, amid growing pressure from the international community.

Since the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, Rwanda has welcomed tens of thousands of the militia who decided to return to their home country.

To date most of them are employed in various Government institutions, others are entrepreneurs working to improve their socio-economic condition and contributing to the reconstruction of Rwanda.

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