By: Tom Ndahiro
Resolutions 2098 (2013) and 2147 (2014) of the UN Security Council mandates the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to neutralise all armed groups in the DRC.
The two resolutions underlines their support for an effective Disarmament, Demobilization, Resettlement and Reintegration (DD/RRR) program, paying a particular attention to women and children, as part of the demobilisation process.
But the mission has been partially fulfilled by the UN force. In a statement issued yesterday, August 26 2014, the UNSC expressed its support to the progress made against armed groups, “including the military defeat of the M23 movement, the signing of the Nairobi Declarations by the DRC government and the M23.”
The UNSC further noted the significant weakening of the ADF-NALU but regretted that “no significant progress was made towards the neutralization of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR).”
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the importance of “the swift neutralization of the FDLR, as a top priority in bringing stability to the DRC and the Great Lakes region.”
The UNSC insisted that “leaders and members of the FDLR were among the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed, and recalled that the FDLR is a group under United Nations sanctions, operating in the DRC, and which has continued to promote and commit ethnically based and other killings in Rwanda and in the DRC.”
The council also “expressed deep concern regarding the sustained domestic and regional threat posed by the FDLR, including recent reports of continued human rights abuses” by this organization such as “continued recruiting and training of combatants, including children, and stressed the importance of disarming and ending the threat caused by this illegal armed group.”
The statement encouraged the DRC government and MONUSCO, to “actively pursue military action against those leaders and members of the FDLR who do not engage in the demobilization process or who continue to carry out human rights abuses.”
In his recent speech, President Obama’s special envoy to central Africa Russell Feingold to the African leaders in Washington made clear his country’s policy. “We have to get rid of the FDLR, not so much because of their military capacity, but because of what they represent and the destabilizing effect that they have with regard to relations with Rwanda. That is our top priority.”
He stressed “I’ve been involved with efforts to communicate to them that it’s time for them to surrender. That they will be attacked militarily if they don’t. That there will be no political dialogue.”