International community has to urgently help tackle FDLR issue

The 2004 “Country Reports on Terrorism” released on April 27, 2005, by the U.S, brought to light that FDLR, the notorious DRC-based genocidal group was designated among the top forty Foreign Terrorist Organizations. That prompted the then Bush administration to blacklist FDLR, a decision which is still in force to date.

Seventeen years down the road, it beats everyone’s understanding why the International Community continues to keep dead silent on the FDLR issue, yet the cutthroat group has never ceased committing crimes against humanity.

To everyone’s surprise, when it comes to the conflicts in DR Congo, especially the ongoing civil war in which the FDLR is fighting alongside the country’s army (FARDC) against the M23 rebels, the very same International Community quickly and falsely accuses Rwanda of “responsibility” while deliberately ignoring the issues of the FDLR that have been there for decades wreaking havoc on Congolese citizens.

In the most recent incident the FDLR reiterated its firm commitment to destabilize Rwanda by blatantly violating Rwanda’s sovereignty through shelling of multiple rockets into Rwanda territory that killed innocent Rwandans and maimed several not forgetting blowing citizens’ properties out of the water. The incidents unfolded in March and May this year and violated Rwanda’s territorial integrity. FDLR was also involved in the foiled terror attack that claimed the lives of 14 unarmed civilians from Kinigi, Musanze District in 2019.

On the other hand, it is public knowledge, and there are facts that Kinshasa supports the FDLR in its day-to-day terror activities; a move that is explained by how the Tshisekedi regime keeps propping up the blacklisted genocidal and terrorist group despite regional provisions such as the Nairobi Heads of States Conclave, and Luanda Tripartite Summit roadmap among other recommendations meant to rout FDLR.

Since Congolese authorities have shown no intentions to divorce themselves from FDLR militia for their known political gains, the International Community ought to step in for peace to prevail in the Eastern part of Congo. The status quo has to change as far as regional stability and criminal accountability are concerned, and indeed if nothing is done urgently Rwanda – DRC relations will further deteriorate.

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