October 27 - November 02, 2014
Compiled by Berta Fürstová, MIGS Desk Officer for Rwanda
Despite UN’s determination, African nations are not unified in military action against FDLR
Private but pro-government newspapers
New Times, 28th October 2014
“‘FDLR has two months to disarm – Monusco chief” by James Karuhanga
- Martin Kobler, head of UN Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), reiterated that military action is inevitable if FDLR militia does not meet the January 2, 2015 deadline for voluntary disarmament and surrender.
- Kobler said: “Taking this fight to the jungle will be long and difficult. It will result in many casualties. I, for one, do not want to see that. But it is up to the FDLR to prevent this scenario. They have two months and six days left to disarm unconditionally, and go to Kisangani transit camp as envisaged by the Government of DR Congo, or leave the country. On January 2, there will be no excuse for further delay. The credibility of the UN, the Congolese government and the region are at stake.”
Private independent newspapers
News of Rwanda, 27th October 2014
“‘FDLR ‘disarmament’ process sluggish, deadline ignored” by Gahiji Innocent
- Even if the deadline for FDLR’ surrender comes near, FDLR does not intend to lay down weapons and disagreement among African nations is undermining the UN’s intention to lead military action against the militia.
- “If it was entirely up to us, we would be fulfilling our mandate to neutralize armed groups,” says Martin Kobler, head of the MONUSCO. However, Timo Mueller, an independent researcher in eastern Congo says: “Everyone wants to go after the FDLR in a different fashion. It will be the FDLR who will benefit from this cacophony of actors.”
- While Rwanda calls for strong military action, other African powers (Tanzania, South Africa) have been more cautious, calling for a political solution that could also solve the issue of the more than 100,000 Rwandan refugees remaining in the Congo.
- Officials say there are only about 1,500 FDLR gunmen left after the UN peacekeeping mission demobilised more than 12,000 in the past 12 years, but it is hard to separate them from civilians.
- Victor Byiringiro, the FDLR’s interim leader, said his fighters would not return to Rwanda as a result of the UN-backed repatriation programme.