26 October - 1 November 2015
Compiled by Berta Fürstová
- MPs approved change in presidential term limits
- FDLR has 5,000 combatants in DRC, says its deserter
1. MPs approved change in presidential term limits
Private independent media
“Deputies approve draft Constitution” by Staff Reporter. Rwanda Focus, 29th October 2015
- The chamber of deputies has approved the amendments proposed to the Constitution, which propose a limitation of presidential terms to two terms of 5 years, compared to the current two terms of 7 years.
- However, it is also proposed that the change only comes into effect after the next presidential elections in 2017, in which the winning candidate will be granted a 7-year term. That winning candidate will then also be allowed to run for the subsequent two 5-year terms.
- The incumbent, President Paul Kagame, will be eligible to present his candidature.
- The draft will now go to the Senate and, if approved, will then be the subject of a referendum.
2. FDLR has 5,000 combatants in DRC, says its deserter
Private independent newspapers
“FDLR has 5,000 combatants in four DR Congo provinces” by Gahiji Innocent. News of Rwanda, 29th October 2015, originally published by KT Press
- Former FDLR officer, Lt Col Gerard Ntibibaza, who deserted with his family to Rwanda early this month, dismissed UN and Congolese government figures of the FDLR combatants. He had been chief of administration for nearly three years. He says field commanders were required to give him constant updates on troop levels and new recruits.
- The UN mission in Congo (MONUSCO) estimates the FDLR has less than 1500 combatants. The DRC government, eager to show that its forced disarmament operations are working, puts the figure at 340.
- However, Ntibizaza says that the UN for its part gives figures based on hearsay from FDLR commanders and that MONUSCO never visits FDLR’s bush hideouts all of which are strategically located more than 1500km away from any passable road.
- Ntibibaza said that as of his departure, FDLR had 5,000 combatants. Some 3000 combatants are stationed in North Kivu province, while 2000 rebels operate in South Kivu. There are also more specialized units with small numbers operating in Maniema and Katanga Provinces.
- Ntibibaza says these “specialised units” are attached directly to elite forces of the Congolese army. Despite being FDLR, some are commanders of the Congolese units.