By James Karuhanga
KIGALI – Regional security chiefs, representing the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), have disclosed that Rwandan fugitives, Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegyeya, have formed a new armed group based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with the aim of destabilizing the region.
According to minutes of the just concluded CEPGL security meeting, the Kayumba-Karegeya armed group, based in Binza, North Kivu, is commanded by Col. Suki and Col. Gaheza. They are, so far, estimated to number about 200.
“The group is carrying out recruitment inside Rwanda and the region and infiltrating the recruits to DRC for future use in subversive activities against Rwanda,” said Col. Augustin Mumbiay Mamba, the DRC’s chief of border security.
It was also revealed in the meeting that the Kayumba-Karegyeya outfit had entered into an alliance with several existing militia in eastern DRC, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), remnants of the former Rwandan army (Ex-FAR) and Interahamwe militia responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Other armed groups named in the new alliance include FPLC, RUD-Urunana, Lafontaine, Mai Mai Yakatumba, Mai Mai Cheka and the so-called Nsengiyumva group.
“Estimated enemy strength operating in DRC is about 5,000,” revealed Col. Mamba.
“This alliance dictates the need to intensify joint operations to curtail and neutralize the activities of these armed groups”.
It is not the first time that Kayumba and Karegeya are linked to armed groups in the DRC.
A UN Security Council Group of Experts’ report, last year, revealed that both Kayumba and Karegyeya have strong links with the FDLR and were involved with armed groups in the DRC.
Col. Amri Bizimana, a top commander in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) terrorist organization, corroborated the UN Security Council report.
“For almost a year now, Kayumba and Karegeya have had sustained contact and high level meetings with senior FDLR leaders and this has led to the merging of resources and efforts between the two sides,” Col. Bizimana told reporters recently at Mutobo reception centre, where he arrived after escaping from the FDLR camps in the Eastern DRC.
Bizimana further revealed that after the merger of the Kayumba-Karegeya group with the FDLR outfit, Gerald Gahima has emerged as the most active coordinator in Europe and North America, where he, and Theogene Rudasingwa, have linked up with Paul Rusesabagina and the remaining top FDLR officials after the arrest of Ignace Murwanashyaka, Straton Musoni and Callixte Mbarushimana.
Kayumba and Karegeya were sentenced to 24 and 20 years in prison, respectively, after they were found guilty of forming a terrorist group, threatening state security, undermining public order, promoting ethnic divisions and insulting the person of the President of the Republic.
CEPGL’s Sub Committee on Defense and Security comprises the Chiefs of Defense Forces, the Chiefs of Police, Chiefs of National Security, the Heads of Immigration services, the Heads of Military and Police intelligence from all CPGL Member States.