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January 10-18, 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda
Posted on January 19, 2015

Compiled by Berta Fürstová

Report content:

1. FDLR got reinforcement from Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville; Tanzania will not attack FDLR rebels, says FM Membe; MONUSCO waiting for ICGLR/SADC go ahead; Luanda summit called off
2. Three district leaders in Western Province arrested
3. Kagame says Rwanda not plundering DRC coltan

1. FDLR got reinforcement from Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville; Tanzania will not attack FDLR rebels, says FM Membe; MONUSCO waiting for ICGLR/SADC go-ahead; Luanda summit called off
Private independent newspapers

News of Rwanda, 10th January 2015

“‘FDLR gets 4,000 new reinforcements from Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville” by Gahiji Innocent

  • A classified UN document says the FDLR militia got new troops in 2012– some from Zambia and Congo Brazzaville. Allegedly in preparation for war. Some have been mixed with Congolese army (FARDC) units along the common border with Rwanda.
  • The document with reference number CLA-MP-94/12-12 was prepared by MONUSCO for internal consumption. It reads in part: “Reliable sources (humanitarian workers) has reported to MONUSCO’s component on 16th December 2012 about the presence of 4,000 FDLR cadres at Kazibake.“ These “FDLR cadres” should have been brought in Zambia.
  • In addition to these new 4,000 troops, this UN document says FDLR already has another 2,000 “previously located at Nganga (HQ of the FDLR president and supreme commander), Mumo, Hembe, Nyagisozi, Macumbi…” However, to media and foreign diplomats, the UN says there are about 1,500 combatants, and some 300 have surrendered.
  • This classified report says FDLR is taking advantage of the current situation in eastern DRC to establish operational bases in “the Virunga Park (Kinigi sector) inside Rwanda.”
  • The document also says “two white painted helicopters have been seen on several occasions in the past days flying into and out of this new FDLR regroupment locality.“

News of Rwanda, 12th January 2015

“‘Tanzania won't attack Rwandan FDLR rebels - says Foreign Minister” by Gahiji Innocent

  • Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and his Foreign Minister Bernard Membe have probably not the same opinion as how Tanzania will deal with Rwandan FDLR rebels in eastern DRC.
  • "If Congo will not use its security forces to identify the Rwandans and get them deported to their respective destinations, Tanzania will for the first time not comply with the UN directive to take immediate military action against the rebels," said minister Membe in interview with The EastAfrican newspaper. But he added: “As we speak, most of these resolutions have not been applied…Thus, as a country we won't be ready to join any combined attack against the rebels because not all people in eastern DR Congo are FDLR rebels."
  • He said isolation of the rebels scattered in eastern DR Congo was essential to maintaining peace in the region.
  • The same day President Kikwete said he was "setting the records straight" that Tanzania would support action on the FDLR: "We have always been supportive and will continue to be supportive of these efforts to ensure the Eastern DRC is free of armed groups that threaten the security of the people of Congo and Congo's neighbours. Any misrepresentation of Tanzania's position is done by people who pretend to read Tanzania's mind and make their thinking the truth. This is preposterous and contemptible. It is done by people who have ill intensions against our country."

Rwanda Focus, 14th January 2015

“‘FDLR: AND STILL WE WAIT” by Theophile Harushyamagara

  • Martin Kobler, the head of MONUSCO, said that military intervention against the FDLR rebels is awaiting the go-ahead from the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
  • In a press conference in Kigali, Kobler insisted that all military preparations for a possible intervention of the 3000-strong Force Intervention Brigade have been concluded, but that a political resolution is required for the operation to start. Kobler confirmed: “We have initiated all necessary collaboration with the FARDC because we need to work together. We are ready to launch military intervention against the FDLR…I am telling you that anytime we are given the go-ahead, we are ready to deploy even within 10 minutes.“
  • While some have expressed worries about the presence of civilians refugees in positions held by the rebels, Kobler said this should not prevent action to be taken. He insisted: “We are not targeting civilians; we are not targeting Rwandan refugees or Congolese Hutus living in the region. Our target is the FDLR.“
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 15th January 2015

“‘FDLR - all eyes on MONUSCO, DR Congo as Angola summit is called off” ( editorial )

  • A regional summit that had been expected to take place in the Angolan capital Luanda to discuss the next course of action against the FDLR militia has been called off. Angola, whose President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is the current chair of the ICGLR, echoed Kigali's position, saying there was nothing more to discuss about the FDLR but rather it was now up to the UN to act.
  • Rwandan FM Louise Mushikiwabo hailed Luanda's decision not to convene the meeting. She tweeted: "Appreciating leadership of Angola on security in Great Lakes! President Dos Santos truly cares and understands the value of regional stability.”
  • The summit had been announced by South African President Jacob Zuma in his capacity as chair of SADC. According to Kigali, this summit would only give FDLR more time for regrouping its troops and committing crimes.
2. Three district leaders in Western Province arrested
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 15th January 2015

“Police arrest ex-Nyamasheke mayor Habyarimana over forged documents“ by Jean-Pierre Bucyensenge

  • Former Nyamasheke mayor Jean Baptiste Habyariamana has become the third district leader in Western Province to be detained over forgery and a possible embezzlement of public funds, in connection with the community-based insurance, Mutuelle de Sante.
  • Habyarimana stepped down on January 8, the same day the former mayor of Karongi Bernard Kayumba also resigned. Kayumba was arrested the following day.
  • The duo is detained following the arrest of the mayor of the south-western district of Rusizi, Oscar Nzeyimana, his deputy for social affairs Basile Bayihiki and six other district officials over similar allegations.

New Times, 18th January 2015

“Rusizi mayor denied bail“ by Jean-Pierre Bucyensenge  

  • Five officials of the south-western district of Rusizi are on trial over counterfeiting documents related to the community-based insurance, Mutuelle de Sante. If convicted, they face up to five years in jail.
  • The mayor Oscar Nzeyimana, and three of his co-accused have been denied bail. Only Muhawenimana got bail because she is pregnant.
  • Prosecution alleges the officials inflated subscribers’ figures of Mutulle de Sante from 69 to 77.5 per cent to get better score in the evaluation of performance contracts called Imihigo.
  • Meanwhile, Police on January 16 arrested the Executive Secretary of Bugarama Sector in Rusizi District, Viateur Nduwayo, on allegations of embezzling money meant for the Vision 2020 Umurenge programme, a government scheme that seeks to create jobs and support the most vulnerable.
3. Kagame says Rwanda not plundering DRC coltan
Private independent newspapers

News of Rwanda, 16th January 2015

“‘Kagame says Rwanda not plundering DRC coltan” by Gahiji Innocent

  • President Paul Kagame has offered free visa and air ticket to anyone disputing Rwanda's coltan (tantalum) production capability to visit the country's active mining sites. He insisted: "Rwanda has not only enough coltan but of a very high quality. It is something that has been known for years.“
  • In 2013, Rwanda attracted global attention when it exported 2,466,025kgs of coltan- this accounted for 28% of total 8,807,232Kg of tantalum produced globally.
  • The Ministry of Natural Resources and Mines says Rwanda is now the world's single largest exporter of tantalum mineral and that the 2013 export were only a small portion of the country's production capacity.
  • Critics from across the globe continued to accuse Rwanda of plundering coltan from DRC and exporting it as with origin from Rwanda.
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