OPINION: Why The UN’s Silence On FDLR Attacks On Rwanda?

visit web geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%; text-align: justify;”>At around 4am on November 27, information pills at least 120 FDLR rebels based in Kivu crossed into Rwandan territory where they launched attacks that killed a civilian and injured four others.

seek geneva;”>Rwanda government spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo said the attack by the FDLR forces from their bases in DRC is clearly an attempt to take advantage of the volatile situation in Eastern DRC.

“We will counter any violation of Rwandan territory by the FDLR and continue to protect our borders but will not allow today’s fighting to derail the ongoing regional peace process,” she added, in reference to proposed talks between DRC government and M23 rebels.

Official United Nations records show that FDLR is currently seeking to readapt its military capacity following the drying up of external support and in the aftermath of a succession of attacks on its positions and civilian dependents.

Since April 2012, in the light of significant troop shortages, FDLR has consolidated its units into two sectors.

Col. Pacifique Ntawunguka, alias “Omega”, remains the commander of North Kivu and Lieutenant Col. Hamada Habimana has assumed the command of South Kivu, according to a United Nations report released in November.

Each of the six FDLR subsectors is constituted of between 250 and 400 soldiers.

It is estimated that the rebels now number between 1,500 and 2,000.

Some of the FDLR bandits participated in the 1994 genocide that left over one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus slaughtered.

The alleged FDLR attack came hardly a month when Congolese soldiers (FARDC) of the 69th Reconnaissance Battalion, in what Rwanda described as “an act of aggression and provocation,” entered Rwandan territory on a reconnaissance mission.

According to Defence and Military Spokesman of Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita, one of the Congolese military spies was shot dead in the exchange of fire with Rwanda Defence Forces who acted in self-defence.

The incident happened on Rwandan territory in Busasasama Sector, Rusura cell.

“Our troops intervened but they encountered hostile fire from the FARDC soldiers. They fired back and killed one of the Congolese soldiers,” he added.

He further observed the Congolese soldier was found with documents indicating that they were on reconnaissance mission.

“They were armed with assault rifles, more than 200 rounds of ammunitions, binoculars, communication equipment, ropes, knives and other military equipment.”

The body of the deceased, identified as Corporal Mbanza Numba Bisogolo, was received Colonel Somo Kakule Evariste of the FARDC.

It is important to note the Congolese Colonel confirmed the identity of the deceased soldier in a handover event in Rusura Cell.


Despite these two heavy attacks, the international community and western media which have since accused Uganda and Rwanda of fomenting trouble in DRC by supporting M23, remain silent.

The quietness at UN is reminiscent of the manner in which the international body handled the first days of the recent Gaza crisis.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador was compelled to express his country’s frustration that the Security Council had remained silent about the escalating violence in Gaza between Israel and Hamas considering that United States had blocked any action.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Morocco had circulated a proposed press statement as early as last Thursday but foot-dragging by one council member meant it “is still bogged down.”

“To me, it looks like a filibuster attempt.”

The silence at United Nations amid the FDLR attacks also lend authority to reports that it serves interests of a few individual states at the expense of others – which undermines its credibility as a sovereign institution tasked with preserving global security, peace and its members’ territorial integrity.


It’s not only African countries that have lost trust in the international community’s neutrality in preserving world order.

During the UN General Assembly in September, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for a “just and fair” new world order and said the United Nations lacks the efficiency to bring it about.

“If this inefficiency persists, nations will lose hope in the global structures to defend their rights. If the UN is not restructured, international interactions and the spirit of collective global cooperation will be tarnished and the standing of the UN will be damaged,” he cautioned.

President Ahmadinejad said the existence of veto rights in the Security Council and the monopolization of power in the 15-member body have made it nearly impossible to defend the rights of nations.

“The issue of UN-restructuring is very vital and is a need that has been emphasized time and again by the representatives of nations, a goal that has not yet been accomplished,” he said, citing unilateralism, double standards and the imposition of the theory of survival of the fittest by “self-proclaimed centres of power” as problems that need to be rectified.

“I would like to urge the honourable members of the United Nations and the Secretary-General and his colleagues to place the issue on their agenda and devise an appropriate mechanism to make it happen,” the Iranian President said.

While re-affirming his country’s commitment to multilateralism and the role of the United Nations in dealing with international peace and security issues at the same General Assembly, the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, called for steps to ensure that the world body is not marginalized on such matters, citing developments in Libya and Iraq as examples.

“Equally important, the United Nations must in future never allow itself to be abused by any Member State or group of States that seeks to achieve parochial partisan goals,” President Mugabe added.

“The Charter of the United Nations clearly stipulates it as an international body that should work for the good of all the peoples of the world,” he added.

The President pointed to the involvement of countries belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in efforts to topple the regime of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi.

The Zimbabwean leader said that Libya, like Iraq, had been made unstable, following NATO’s “deceitful intervention under the sham cover” of the UN Charter’s Chapter VII, and the “phoney principle” of the responsibility to protect.

“The increasing trend by the NATO States inspired by the arrogant belief that they are the most powerful among us, which has demonstrated itself through their recent resort to unilateralism and military hegemony in Libya, is the very antithesis of the basic principles of the United Nations,” President Mugabe said.

Addressing a high level meeting last month at United Nations in New York on the Rule of Law, Rwanda President Paul Kagame said as a global community “we should be alert to the dangers of politicizing issues of justice, both at the national and international level, because ultimately, this undermines the rule of law.”

“We see principles such as universal jurisdiction being used – many times selectively and in one direction – as a political tool in the arena of international affairs, for the purposes of control and dominance,” added Kagame.

“This situation needs to change so that there is parity between nations, double standards are eliminated and fairness and respect for the rule of law established at the international level,” observed Kagame.

Also addressing the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States last month, Kagame said since security and development cannot be achieved without each other, “we all have to play our roles – from the average citizen, to government leaders, to global institutions like the UN – to find inclusive solutions for lasting peace and prosperity.”

“The history of how conflicts have been handled in Rwanda, and indeed in our region, however, shows that improvement is needed,” said Kagame.

“It is our obligation to point this out – not to be critical – but because we subscribe to the ideals and principles on which the United Nations was founded. We can and should do better,” the President assured world leaders at the UN Summit.

The UN should condemn all the rebel attacks on the Rwandan territory as it does with the M23 in DRC.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author not Chimpreports or its management.

Header advertisement


To Top