News

UN Reveals Gen. Nyamwasa, Karegeya Congo Rebel Links

search http://ceris.ca/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-popup/views/meta-rules.php geneva; font-size: small;”>However, UN says it fell short of obtaining evidence showing the two army officers had provided material support to the rebels.

In their report dated January 2, a group of UN Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo say they carried out extensive research into allegations that the recently established Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a diaspora-based political party, had provided material and financial support to FDLR.

The development confirms Kigali’s fears Nyamwasa could remove destabilize Rwanda.

While addressing press in Kampala last year, Kagame said he had information linking Nyamwasa to rebel activities in Congo.

“If Nyamwasa decides to pick up guns, because there are asuch signs, we have medicine for him,” Kagame noted.

Nyamwasa, who survived an assassination attempt in South Africa in 2010, has denied any involvement in subversive activities.

RNC is led by Nyamwasa and Karegeya, both of whom currently live in South Africa, and Gerard Gahima and Théogène Rudasingwa, who reside in the United States.

The Government of Rwanda had told the Group that RNC is building an alliance with FDLR and other Congolese and Rwandan dissident armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, notably in the territory of Rutshuru in North Kivu.

According to the report, following a summit of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries held in Kigali on 21 January 2011, which released a statement saying an armed alliance operating in Rutshuru and including FDLR and other groups was supported by Nyamwasa and Karegeya, joint intelligence operations of FARDC and the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) were launched in Congo.

In March 2011, a special company composed of troops from the two armies began three months of operations against armed groups in Rutshuru.

In August, the joint operations resumed.

DETAILS

The Group learned from interviews with ex-combatants that FDLR intended to deploy a second battalion to reinforce its strength along the Rwandan border, although this has not yet been completed.

The Group attempted to confirm reports that Nyamwasa had sent an emissary to meet with FDLR in September 2010 and had found that the individual was in fact someone claiming to be linked to the exiled King Kigeli V of Rwanda.

The special unit was composed of about 120 FARDC elements and 150 RDF elements and was established in the FARDC position at Kiseguru, north of Kiwanja.

One senior former FDLR officer told the Group that RNC was in communication with FDLR, but neither he nor any of the many FDLR officers interviewed by the Group in Goma, Bukavu and Rwanda, claimed or offered any evidence of material support by RNC for FDLR. Some officers close to Mudacumura told the Group that the FDLR Commander did not trust Nyamwasa because of his long history with RPF.

RNC ALLY

Nevertheless, most FDLR ex-combatants and active officers consulted by the Group said they viewed RNC as a potential ally and a factor that encouraged them to persist in their struggle.

The Group has concluded that FDLR, although it does not receive any material or financial support from RNC, view the party’s efforts as complementary to its own medium-term military strategy.

The Group addressed to the South African authorities three official communications requesting information about Nyamwasa and Karegaya relevant to its mandate, but did not receive any information.

The Government of South Africa, according to the report, agreed to a request from the Group to visit Pretoria and meet personally with Nyamwasa and Karegeya, but then prohibited the Group from communicating with those individuals upon arrival.

SA further declined to arrange meetings requested by the Group with the relevant South African security agencies.

Through a telephone conversation with RNC leaders set up at the initiative of the Group after its visit to South Africa, Nyamwasa told the Group that he could not work with Mudacumura.

He alleged that Mudacumura hated Tutsis and that his ideology was incompatible with that of RNC.

Nyamwasa also denied to the Group that he was mounting an armed rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and claimed that had he wanted to do so, he would already be on the ground in that area.

Nyamwasa and Karegeya also explained to the Group, however, that they were both frequently solicited by telephone calls from purported armed group leaders in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, but had always refused such overtures.

Several armed group leaders have informed the Group of their desire to receive backing from RNC, but the Group has seen no evidence that they have received such support.

Some ex-CNDP officers still loyal to imprisoned former leader Laurent Nkunda, as well as numerous other Mai Mai groups, have aspired to cooperate with Nyamwasa and Karegeya in efforts against the Rwandan Government.

The Group, however, has observed a tendency among individual commanders to exaggerate their importance by fabricating a relationship with the Rwandan dissidents.

Nevertheless, the Group would like to highlight one key case of an FDLR splinter group, Gaheza, whose leader was confirmed to have actually communicated with Nyamwasa.

The Group notes the example of a new Mai Mai group established this year, cooperating with FDLR, in the Nindja area of South Kivu, which also uses the acronym “RNC”, only meaning “Rassemblement national congolais” in this case, in order to attract more regional attention for the group and potentially draw the attention of the Rwanda National Congress.

TELEPHONE CHAT

Norbert “Gaheza” Ndererimana, who was the leader of a small splinter group of RUD-Urunana, itself a product of a previous split with FDLR, telephoned Nyamwasa on 1 November 2010, according to telephone records seen by the Group.

Gaheza told the Group that he had solicited Nyamwasa’s support during the conversation.

Nyamwasa admitted to the Group the call had taken place, but insisted that he had told Gaheza he was not interested in being in contact.

According to Gaheza, however, Nyamwasa asked if he had any problems with FDLR and said that he would call him back.

The Group considers that such a comment implies, at most, that Nyamwasa may have been exploring potential collaboration with FDLR.

Both individuals say that they did not communicate again.

While he failed to obtain any support from either Kigeli or Nyamwasa, Gaheza received financial and material contributions from General Emmanuel Habyarimana, whose political party, the Convention nationale républicaine-Intwari (CNR), is in a political coalition with RNC.

According to Gaheza, CNR representatives provided him with wire money transfers totaling $2,400.

On 24 February 2011, Gaheza also received six Motorola radios from a CNR member in Canada named Timothée Rutazihana. On 3 March 2011, Gaheza received 4.3 million Ugandan shillings (about $1,400) from CNR cadre Emmanuel Hakizimana.

At the time of reporting, the Group had yet to obtain a receipt of this transfer through MoneyGram, but had confirmed its existence through Gaheza’s escort Ramadani, who claimed to have picked it up.

According to Gaheza, these funds were used to purchase military equipment and a generator that was later transported across the border to Binza in March 2011. In a meeting with the Group, Hakizimana acknowledged that he knew Gaheza, but did not reply to questions regarding support for armed groups in eastern Congo.

General Habyarimana was Minister of Defence of Rwanda from 2000 to 2002.

Gaheza’s former colleagues in Kampala, Gaheza misrepresented the support he had received from Habyarimana’s CNR as coming from Nyamwasa.

The report concludes that RNC should not be held responsible for the support of CNR for an armed group in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the absence of evidence proving operational cooperation between the two political parties.

Comments

Header advertisement
To Top