DRC/Rwanda: An overview of FDLR and their partners

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Tutsi and moderate Hutu were massacred during the genocide of 1994 in Rwanda by the Hutu Extremists.

When the RPF army stopped the genocide from reaching its completion; Interahamwe militiamen fled to zaire with their arms and machettes and became later FDLR.

Since that time FDLR brutally slaughtered thousands Congolese Tutsi and other ethnic civilians in the Kivu provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The FDLR have a very ugly past, but we haven’t seen this level of violence in years,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior researcher in the Africa division at Human Rights Watch.

As MONUSCO and Congolese forces advanced toward the FDLR’s headquarters early this year,the FDLR militia abducted scores of local residents from neighboring villages and took them to their camp, apparently intending to use them as human shields against the impending attack.

Witnesses said “when coalition forces attacked the trapped civilians tried to flee,the FDLR hacked many civilians to death ”

One witness in Walikale territory saw FDLR combatants kill at least seven people, including a pregnant woman, whose womb was slit open. Another saw an FDLR combatant batter a 10 year old girl to death against a brick wall.

As the FDLR fled the military confrontation, they abducted dozens of civilians, forcing them to carry their goods.

FDLR combatants also raped more than a dozen women whom they accused of having joined the government side against them. For instance, in southern Masisi territory (North Kivu), on January 27 2014, FDLR combatants raped and killed a woman and then raped her 9-year-old daughter.

A woman from Lulere village in Ziralo told Human Rights Watch that the FDLR said they would not leave Congo without “first exterminating the Congolese Tutsi people.” The FDLR forces then killed her 73-year-old father and 80-year-old uncle by smashing their skulls with small hoes.

Protection of Congolese civilians needs to be given a top priority to help prevent another genocide by Hutu Extremists to Congolese people.

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