FDLR threat reduced: DRC minister


Congolese Information Minister, Lambert Mende, has said that the military campaigns against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have trimmed down the rebels’ capacity to cause danger in 2009.

The government official noted more pressure would be seen in 2010 to totally wipe out the militia group.

FDLR militia mainly operates in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The rebel group is largely composed of key members of the 1994 genocide, Hutu members of the former Rwandan army, as well as a mix of displaced Rwandan Hutus. After the genocide, the FDLR rebels fled into neighbouring DRC, fighting alongside the former Congolese government in its battle against Congolese rebel movement RCD.
“What they represented as a danger has been reduced – we are continuing to search for others as they try to escape into bushes and that is why we are now reinforcing police presence in villages so that the army can be free to pursue them,” Mende told the Rwandan newspaper The New Times.
“With operation ‘Umoja Wetu’ and now operation ‘Kimia II’, more than 1000 have been killed and more than 1500 repatriated,” Mende said.

The chairman of the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC), Jean Sayinzoga, recently revealed that over 8000 former FDLR combatants and dependants have been integrated into Rwandan society since the establishment of the commission in 2001.

Source: www.rnw.nl