Rwanda Fury as UN Facilitates FDLR Commander's Italy Trip


there geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>“We have been reminded, generic over the last two days, cheap of the hidden agenda of UN senior officials and countries in the region, in support to the FDLR,” said Rwanda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to united Nations on Thursday evening, “adding, “Rwanda will not tolerate the collusion of those who should abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions, with a genocidaire and UN sanctioned movement.”

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Earlier, government spokesperson and Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, took to Twitter to warn “supporters of FDLR genocidal militia, read my lips: it (genocide) ain’t gonna happen again!”

Mushikiwabo said Rwanda’s policy toward FDLR remains unchanged: “Drop weapons and genocide ideology and come home though established Rwanda-UN demobilization scheme.”

She further expressed outrage that, “the same individuals/countries allied to thugs that committed genocide in Rwanda back in 1994 are still at it today! Shameful!”

An investigation by Chimpreports indicates that since the border clashes between the Rwandan and Congolese soldiers on June 11/12, Rwanda has amassed troops at the border in preparation of a possible attack by FDLR combatants.

Unlike in the past when FDLR was considered a ‘defeated’ force, tensions are simmering with Rwanda protesting United Nations’ decision to offer diplomatic support to the UN-sanctioned militia’s commander to travel from his base in DRC to meet supporters in European countries.

This website has learnt that on Thursday this week, Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to UN, Eugene Richard Gasana, dispatched a stinging letter to the Security Council, expressing his country’s concerns over the worryingly close relations between FDLR and the international body’s senior officials.

How it started

Gasana told the UN president that on June 24, 2014, the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations received a ‘Note by the Chair’ S/AC,43/2014/Note,19, in which the Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 concerning the Democratic Republic of Congo transmitted a letter dated the same day, by which Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations (through the Assistant Secretary General Dimitry Titov, who signed p.o) requested an exemption to the travel ban, in favour of United Nations Sanctioned individual Gaston Rumuli Lyamuremye (aka Victor Rumuli Byiringiro), referred to as President of the FDLR.

In his letter, Mr Ladsous stated that Gaston Lyamuremye would travel on June 25 2014 to Rome, Italy, in order to attend, the following day, a one-day meeting organised by the Sant’Egidio Catholic Community.

Mr Ladsous went on to assert that, in Rome, the FDLR leader would meet the team of Special Envoys and representatives led by Mrs Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the Great Lakes region, accompanied by Mr Frank De Coninck, Special Envoy of Belgium to discuss how to accelerate the “ongoing FDLR disarmament and surrender process” and to consider “the options available to achieve this objective.”

Gasana said Rwanda found this request “highly questionable, on both the procedure and on the motivation. Therefore, the government of Rwanda, through its Permanent Mission to the UN, objected to the request for travel exemption.”

Consequently, Chairperson of the 1533 Sanctions Committee, through note S/AC.43/2014/Note.19/Ad.1, informed that the exemption request was not approved and proceeded accordingly to inform the Department of Peacekeeping Cooperation (DPKO).

Interestingly, Gasana recounts, “we were informed that MONUSCO did not even wait for the decision of the 1533 committee before starting the process of airlifting a UN sanctioned individual, as well as other FDLR leaders, including individuals wanted by the government of Rwanda for their responsibility n the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.”

He added: “Indeed, while the request of the travel ban was pending, MONUSCO transported, by helicopter, Gaston Lyamuremye from Kanyabayonga to Goma, where he was transported to Kinshasa, though Kisangani, in a MONUSCO aircraft.”

Rwanda has in recent weeks expressed scepticism over the alleged surrender of weapons and combatants by FDLR, with officials saying the militant blamed for the 1994 genocide, was technically getting rid of the old, weak fighters and unusable guns.

Gasana further questioned the procedure related to the request for travel ban exemption, saying, “the government of Rwanda wondered how the DPKO could make such request only one day before the actual travel, despite the fact that the meeting in Rome had been in preparation for a long time.

This has compelled the chair of 1533 committee to use an emergency non-objection procedure of only 24 hours, instead of the five provided for in the Guidelines of the Committee.”


He wondered: “Was the DPKO trying to ambush Security Council members, with a hope that all of them would not have enough time to consider this controversial request?”

This has raised fears that Ladsous, who played a pivotal role in the crushing of M23 rebels which paved way for FDLR to take over territories near the Rwandan border, could as well be part of a wider scheme of destabilising Rwanda.

The fact that the DPKO preferred sending this request itself, instead of going through the Permanent Mission to the United Nations of the State of which the listed individual is a national (Rwanda) or resident (DRC) could even undermine the neutrality of the United Nations, as it may suggest that soe UN and DPKO senior officials are driving a hidden agenda of sanitising the FDLR genocidaires.

On the motivation behind the request, Rwanda was of the view that the request constituted in itself a gross violation of relevant resolutions of the Security Council, particularly resolutions 20198 (2013) and 2147 (2014).

In those resolutions, the Security Council stressed the importance of addressing the sustained regional threat posed by the FDLR, a group under UN sanctions whose leaders and members include perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and have continued to promote and commit ethnically-based and other killings in Rwanda and the DRC.

The Security Council had mandated MONUSCO, particularly through the Force intervention Brigade (FIB), to neutralise armed groups in Eastern DRC, including the FDLR.

Gasana said in this respect, resolution 2150 (2014), adopted on the occasion of the 20th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi, called upon UN member states to investigate, arrest and prosecute or extradite, all other fugitives accused of genocide residing on their territories including those who are FDLR leaders.


“It should be clear that FDLR is at the centre of chronic instability in the Great Lakes Region of two decades and that any further delay in eliminating this group and its ideology would only serve to cause further harm and suffering to the region,” said Gasana.

“The request for travel ban exemption is part of a pattern, over the last two decades, of a series of manoeuvres that attempt to deny and diminish the criminal essence of the FDLR, to find excuses of its acts, to treat this genocidaire group as notable group with legitimate political grievances and ultimately, to cleanse t from the most heinous crimes linked to its ideology including religious communities.”

Gasana further pointed out that unfortunately, for 20 years, “we have observed manipulations and conspiracies around the FDLR. It is a grave insult to the victims and survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi as well as to the people of Rwanda as a whole that the very body that failed our people 20 years ago would be considering today a tacit return to such a shameful past.

It should be clear that Rwanda considers FDLR leaders and members who persist on the path to violence as the single biggest threat to national and regional peace We here recall our clear policy towards the FDLR, which is to stop violence, disarm, set aside their genocide ideology and repatriate through the established DDR process, which has been most successful over more than a decade, delivering more than 10,000 former combatants, including top military leaders.”

Gasana further warned that while Rwanda has been engaged and remains committed to the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation {PSC) Framework Agreement for the DRC and the Region, “the recent actions by the DPKO threaten the effective implementation of that Framework and undermine the credibility of the Security Council, when its decisions are violated by those who should be the first to implement them.”

He said it would not make sense that Rwanda remains the only country to continue participating in the PSC Framework when the latter only advances the interests of others, including countries of the region.

“Therefore, Rwanda would consider withdrawing its participation from that Framework, should the DPKO supporting other regional and international actors continue these attempts to sanitize FDLR genocidaires.”


This is not the first time, Rwanda is complaining about MONUSCO’s operations.

Gasana recently told the Security Council: “How else can you explain that with the new technology and a robust mandate given to MONUSCO, they have chosen to fight some armed groups while ignoring others, such as the longest surviving armed group in eastern DRC, the FDLR? I may recall that the FDLR is a movement that committed genocide in my country twenty years ago; a group that has been terrorizing the Congolese people, raping women and girls; recruiting children; and a negative force that has been the cause of most other rebellions in eastern DRC.

Whose interests are these supposedly good initiatives serving while the people we are supposed to protect are still being raped and killed? We have called upon this Council so many times to hold MONUSCO accountable. We all know that investing resources where there is no transparency and accountability is a waste of time and money, and bleeds irresponsibility.”


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