So six months ago, these genocidal militiamen were given an ultimatum to voluntarily lay down arms and put their hands up, without which they would be forcefully disarmed.
But as the D-Day for their disarmament drew near, there was no clear sign that they intended to do so.
And now the ultimate date has come and gone, and still there has been, and there still is no action in the foreseeable future.
However, Rwandans were not fooled by the high sounding statements made by some leaders feigning disappointment on the failure of FDLR to disarm.
Just a week before the expiry date that had been given to the FDLR, Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo had expressed her skepticism, saying that the date (2nd January), would expose the sincerity of those who originated it.
And she has been vindicated. A week after the deadline, the FDLR did not disarm, and nothing has been done a week later. No armed strike at it, no condemnation, nothing!
From the outset, it had been more than obvious that FDLR never had any intention of disarming, mainly because they had nothing to worry about from any quarter. Constant threats vociferated by the International Community have always been empty.
Now, informed sources claim that during the six month grace period it was given on July 2, last year, the FDLR militia has been busy conducting high level business deals, selling charcoal and gold, and using the proceeds to recruit fresh combatants, including children, instead of making preparations for voluntary disarmament.
This goes to show the partiality of the International Community.
Let’s recall the time when in 2013, the M23 rebels were a pain in the side of the RDC. It should also be recalled that at the outset, the M23 unlike FDLR, was a movement of soldiers of a country who were discontent, citing poor conditions in the army and their government’s unwillingness to implement the 23 March 2009 peace deal.
Well, United Nations Security Council at the time authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within Monusco to carry out a targeted offensive operation against the rebel group (M23) which was accused of threatening peace in eastern DRC.
It is on record that on November 6, 2013 the so called Force Intervention Brigade launched an assault on M23 rebel position in the east of the country, forcing its leader Sultani Makenga to surrender on November 7, 2013, just a day after the strike. And that was the end of the M23 rebel group.
It is beyond comprehension the way the UN and the ICGLR can condone this type of double standards. Why can’t the UN Intervention Force take the FDLR on?
Now news is that instead of taking the FDLR rebels head on, rebels that have been wrecking havoc in eastern Congo for two decades, rebels whose leaders are masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Monusco and DRC, have decided to launch an offensive against a much smaller group, the FNL, a Burundian rebel group.
For what purpose? Delaying tactics of turning a blind eye to the real issue at hand is my guess.
As was decreed, so it should be now! There is no more time to waste, because, the only good FDLR, is a dead one. There is no other way the region can live in peace, without constant threats from the marauding killers, apart from a military action which was agreed upon by a SADC-ICGLR Summit together with the UN and the African Union, in July 2, 2014, launching a decisive strike at the intransigent group.
Monusco and its Force Intervention Brigade should stop this game of delaying tactics and do what they are mandated to do. The force should go ahead and launch the military action and rout these unrepentant rebels, like they did the M23, in 2013.