UN Security Council says FDLR is “A Sustained Regional Threat”

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The United Nations Security Council has expressed deep concern regarding the sustained regional threat posed by the Rwanda genocidal militia, FDLR in DRC, Chimp Corps report.

It also stressed importance of neutralizing it and all other armed groups.

The Council “strongly condemns” the continuing violence and abuses of human rights by all armed groups “including summary executions, sexual and gender based violence and large scale recruitment and use of children,” Liu Jieyi of China, which this month holds the Council presidency, said in a statement on behalf of the 15-member body on Thursday night.

The Council also encouraged the UN and its partners to strive towards implementation of the Framework signed earlier this year by the DRC along with 10 other countries and four regional and international institutions under UN auspices, outlining a comprehensive approach to sustainable peace in the region.

There has been heated debate among regional security officials on whether the UN Force Intervention Brigade, tasked with neutralizing the all armed groups in DRC, would fight FDLR.

The militia was used to fight M23 rebels from their positions in Kiwanja, Bunagana, Mabenga, Rutshuru and Chanzu. In fact FDLR were reportedly restrained from crossing the Rwanda border following the defeat of the M23.

In a recent online conversation, Rwanda’s Defence Minister, Gen James Kabarebe said “in 1994 the FDLR genocidal force in DRC was about 150,000 plus, today it’s about 2,000 minus.”

He attributed the decimation of over 90 percent of the FDLR militants to “Rwanda Defence Forces operations.”

Following the ouster of Juvenal Habyarimana’s regime in 1994, the fleeing Hutu militia later regrouped in DRC before launching a military come back through northern Rwanda.

While the aggression was defeated, FDLR continued committing atrocities in DRC.

More lethal operations by RDF inside Congo would later destroy the better part of FDLR, killing hundreds of the rebel group’s commanders and militants.

FDLR Fighters who chose to surrender were later integrated into the Rwanda society while others were jailed for atrocities committed in the 1994 genocide.

M23 disarmament

Meanwhile, the Security Council further called for the immediate and permanent disarmament and demobilisation of the M23, welcoming the earlier announcement that the rebel group was ending its bloody insurgency against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Peace talks under way in Uganda towards agreement on a signed document failed to materialize between the two sides on Monday, leading senior UN officials – including the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson – to call on the sides to wrap up the negotiations with a firm political settlement.

Liu Jieyi called “for the swift conclusion and implementation of a final, comprehensive and agreed outcome, in line with the Kampala talks, that provides for the disarmament and demobilization of the M23 and accountability for human rights abusers.”

The talks are being held in Kampala under the auspices of the Chairperson of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the Mediator, as well as Ugandan Defence Minister and Facilitator, Crispus Kiyonga.

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