DRC, MONUSCO Under Fire over FDLR

Saddening news reaching ChimpLyf is that one of Steven Kiprotic’s children passed on yesterday after a short illness.

The deceased one and a half year old last born to the Olympic gold medalist was born just months after his father historically won Gold for the marathon at the London 2012 Olympics.

Details about the death have not yet been fully substantiated, doctor but reliable sources have confirmed it.

Stephen Kiprotic is arguably one of Uganda’s most successful and most respected sportsmen of all time.

At ChimpLyf, we sympathize with our golden boy and his family in this trying moment.
The DRC government has promised to attack the Rwanda genocidal militia FDLR operating in the mineral rich but restive eastern part of the vast country after a deadline for the group’s surrender expired on Friday at midnight.

“All the necessary preparations to disarm the FDLR have been accomplished. Following their failure to surrender, doctor a forceful disbarment will certainly take place, and ” government said in a statement last night.

The UN gave FDLR, a group whose radical leadership and extremist ideology is responsible for the 1994 genocide, the deadline of January 2 to lay down weapons and surrender all combatants in gazetted places.

However, only 150 fighters of whom many were the sick, elderly and children were handed over to SADC and Congolese authorities.


The remaining force estimated at 15,000 with its leadership remains intact and ready for war.

Highly placed sources say the Rwandan army has heightened its combat readiness especially along the Congo border on grounds that the FDLR could take a desperate measure of attacking Rwanda.

After the defeat of the M23 rebels in December 2013, FDLR who were being used by MONUSCO in ground operations, threatened to cross to Rwanda.

It was not until Rwanda warned of “grave consequences” once attacked that President Joseph Kabila and MONUSCO reigned in on the extremist militants blamed for massacres in DRC.

With the expiry of the UN deadline, Congolese forces are expected to secure support of the UN Force Intervention Brigade to deal a huge blow to the militants.

It remains to be seen if the Congolese and UN will live up to their promise considering that FDLR helped them defeat M23.

Rwanda last year warned Congo against posturing on attacking M23.

“As always for the past 20 years, the problem that we have is the posture of the DRC government and the UN peacekeepers “currently MONUSCO” towards the threat posed by FDLR genocidal forces responsible for the genocide against the Tutsi,” Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Eugene Richard Gasana told the Security Council.

“Throughout the last quarter of 2013 we were told that FDLR are next on the list of negative forces to be eliminated; what happens from when the promise is made to the next briefing, no one knows, no accountability…”

International Envoys for the Great Lakes Region on Friday called for decisive actions against the FDLR.

“Today, 2 January 2015, marks the expiration of the six month grace period granted by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the full and unconditional surrender and demobilization of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR),” the Envoys said in a statement.

They noted with concern that the FDLR has not met this deadline.

“Instead, the FDLR has used this six-month grace period to continue to commit human rights abuses against innocent people in Eastern DRC, recruit combatants, and champion its illegitimate political agenda,” they expressed their outrage.

“Ending the threat of the FDLR is not just a DRC responsibility; it is a regional and international responsibility. We all have a deep commitment to ensuring accountability for those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.”

The envoys said by failing to fully comply with the decisions of the ICGLR, SADC, and the United Nations Security Council, the FDLR has left the region and the international community with no other option than to pursue the military option against those within the armed group that are unwilling to voluntarily disarm.

The Envoys recalled the Communique issued by the 1 December meeting of the Guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) for the DRC and the region in which they “stressed the binding and non-negotiable character of the 2 January 2015 deadline”.

Indeed, there is no justification for further delaying the neutralization of a group that is responsible for a long history of heinous crimes, they added.

The Envoys called upon the DRC Government and MONUSCO, including its Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), to take all necessary measures to disarm the FDLR, in line with Security Council resolutions 2098 (2013) and 2147 (2014).

They commended the troop contributing countries (TCCs) of MONUSCO, particularly those of the FIB, for their commitment to peace and security and for their many sacrifices in their efforts to protect civilians and neutralize other armed groups in eastern DRC.

“The Envoys note that the international community’s expectations for the FIB are enshrined in MONUSCO’s mandate. MONUSCO and its FIB must now engage in counter-FDLR operations, as directed by its leadership and in support of the DRC government, in fulfilment of their mandate to neutralize all armed groups,” reads the statement.

Persecution fears

The FDLR have previously complained that they fear for their lives on return to Rwanda.

They claim the fear of political persecution remains alive.

However, the Envoys emphasised again to FDLR combatants and their dependants that, “at any point, they can choose a peaceful path by entering into the existing DDR/RR program, which continues to successfully repatriate former FDLR to Rwanda,” adding, “Over the years, several thousand ex-FDLR combatants have safely and successfully returned to Rwanda.”

The Envoys said they “remain fully supportive of the DDR/RR process for FDLR ex- combatants, while encouraging the countries in the region to work together to ensure that those FDLR leaders responsible for serious human rights abuses are held accountable.”

Addressing the Security Council last year, Gasana said, “It is high time we see a change of attitude of the DRC Government towards the FDLR; Rwanda has for several years expressed legitimate concerns with the lack of political will of the Government of DRC to tackle the threat of FDLR. Various UNSC reports have detailed evidence of all kinds of support given to FDLR by DRC and Rwanda has even provided more.”

He further pointed out the continuous excuses given by MONUSCO again and again when it comes to conducting military operations against FDLR, is kind of disturbing.

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