AFRICA/CONGO DR - "Address the problem of Rwandan Hutu militias once and for all" ask the missionaries

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The recent armed clashes at the border of the two Countries between the military of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, shows, according to the missionaries of the Network for Peace in the Congo, that the strategy of Kigali to fund armed groups in the North Kivu has now been discovered. The Rwandese government has been forced to allow the army to intervene directly to control a region rich in natural resources.
One of the pretexts used by Rwanda to intervene in the north-east of the DRC is the presence in the area of the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), a Rwandan Hutu militia installed in the DRC, whose members are often accused of having participated in the Rwanda genocide of 1994.
"In fact, the FDLR are quite a threat for the Congolese population, victims of their intolerable abuses: arbitrary arrests, theft of agricultural products, death threats, burning of villages and physical torture", said the communiqué of the Peace Network for the Congo, sent to Fides.
In recent weeks, nearly 200 members of the FDLR and the Congolese army have surrendered to the UN Mission in Congo. Those who are willing to go back to Rwanda will return to their country within the framework of disarmament and reintegration already planned. The others will be expelled from the Rwandan border and temporarily transferred to the interior part of the Congo, waiting to find third Countries willing to accept them. "These two proposals will probably be difficult to achieve", the statement said. "The first, because few members of the FDLR will be willing to be repatriated to Rwanda", where they fear for their lives. "The second, because many politicians and members of Congolese civil society are absolutely opposed to their transfer to the interior part of the Country, because they fear an increase in insecurity in an already extremely unstable situation".
It is therefore necessary that the international community promotes dialogue between the two Countries so that they delineate the border of the FDLR and resolve the issue. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/06/2014)