UN Demands All FDLR Commanders, Fighters To Surrender


sickness geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>FDLR is thought to have surrendered the sick, visit this weak and old fighters and dysfunctional arms amidst pressure to lay down weapons of face the wrath of a joint force.

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The fighters, whose leaders and ideology are responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, on Friday assembled at Gatiku in DRC where they were received by SADC and DRC officials.

However, The United Nations and its partners have renewed their call for the complete surrender of all leaders and combatants of the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, which has “caused untold suffering in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for many years.”

The call was issued by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson; his Special Representative in the DRC, Martin Kobler; the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region and the DRC, Russ Feingold; the Special Representative of the African Union, Boubacar Diarra; and the European Union Senior Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region, Koen Vervaeke.

It comes after a representative of the group, known by its French acronym FDLR, stated in a letter that the rebels would lay down their weapons on 30 May 2014 in two locations in North and South Kivu provinces.

According to a UN statement, “no such activity took place in South Kivu, and up until now, an ‘insignificant’ number of low-ranking combatants surrendered in North Kivu.”

It added: “The envoys recall that the FDLR is an illegitimate armed group that is the subject of UN sanctions, responsible for grave human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and that has caused untold suffering throughout eastern Congo and in Rwanda.”

It noted that members of the FDLR who choose not to surrender, renounce violence, and submit to disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration process will remain subject to military action by the Congolese national army and the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO), in line with its mandate to neutralize armed groups.

“Those members of the FDLR who surrender and want to return to Rwanda can be repatriated.”

The extremist group’s decision to disarm comes at a time when DRC and United Nations Mission in the war-torn country are under heavy pressure to stop military posturing and deal a final blow to FDLR.

Briefing the UN Security Council in March, Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Eugene Richard Gasana, said reports that the DRC army had stepped up military operations against the Hutu militia group were untrue and that “one of the oldest armed groups remains at large.”

He added: “As always for the past 20 years, the problem that we have is the posture of the DRC government and the UN peacekeepers “currently MONUSCO” towards the threat posed by FDLR genocidal forces responsible for the genocide against the Tutsi.

Throughout the last quarter of 2013 we were told that FDLR are next on the list of negative forces to be eliminated; what happens from when the promise is made to the next briefing, no one knows, no accountability…”

Gasana said at a previous meeting, the military operation plan presented to the Security Council was that FARDC was to go after ADF, which happened.

“Following that, we were told that MONUSCO was to put their resources against FDLR. Nothing happened! Only a week or two before this briefing, do we hear in the news that there was a military operation against FDLR. This threat of FDLR persists despite the mandate of MONUSCO, which was given extra offensive capabilities after the deployment of the Intervention Brigade and the lack of MONUSCO to commit to fighting this force remains evident,” observed Gasana.


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