Statements made by OCHA that the FDLR commit abuses against civilians in the DRC are false and totally groundless.
The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) unequivocally condemn all atrocities and violations of human rights committed against civilians in the DRC, especially the acts of hostage-taking recently committed in Bingi (Lubero territory) and demand that an independent international investigation be conducted immediately to determine the identity of the perpetrators so that they can be brought to justice.
The FDLR are outraged by the false statements made by representatives of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Kinshasa on 18 March 2009 that many atrocities and violations of human rights would be reported and charge the FDLR.
The statements of this organization which works in collaboration with the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) that the FDLR would have "taken hostage a dozen of civilians in the area of Bingi (Lubero territory) and claimed a ransom of $ 2,000 per prisoner," are unfair and misleading, made in bad faith and are intended to manipulate public and international opinion in order to tarnish the reputation of the FDLR and push some European countries like France to intervene in the dirty war conducted by the armed Rwanda-Congo coalition with the support of MONUC against Rwandan refugees in DRC, the FDLR and the Congolese people of Kivu.
The FDLR inform the public and the media that, contrary to statements made by OCHA, they have no elements in the village of Bingi or its vicinity and their members have never been involved in heinous acts of taking hostage and demand ransom. Similarly, the FDLR have never imposed taxes to farmers so that they may exploit their fields.
The FDLR remind the public, media and all people of good faith that it is the authorities of the DRC in collaboration with MONUC, which have installed in the Kasiki locality Rwandan elements from a dissent movement created, financed and managed by these same authorities in order to weaken the FDLR and latter gathered in small groups to sow chaos in the area. It's when the cooperation between these groups and the Congolese authorities went wrong in January 2009 that the combatants of these groups were scattered in the forest around Rwavinwa, Kasiki, Luofu, Mibeya, Kanyabayonga, etc. The FDLR have credible information that the vile acts that were reported by OCHA staff have been committed rather by the elements of these groups that roam in the region.
The FDLR urge MONUC and OCHA as well as all agencies working in the DRC to investigate carefully and not continue to blame the FDLR for acts committed by elements belonging to other groups of Rwandans or Congolese that have nothing to do with the FDLR.
The FDLR remind also that armed groups operating in the region commit atrocities in order to put them on the back of the FDLR for the sake of tarnishing their image. That dirty strategy has been known for years and must be condemned in order to protect their victims. The FDLR remind that the political and administrative authorities, media and organizations which rush in attributing those crimes to the FDLR without prior inquiry encourage by that act the real criminals and real sponsors of those crimes thus exposing populations to recurrent violence.
The FDLR remind the public and media that since the beginning of the war imposed by the coalition of RPA (RDF) / FARDC to Rwandan refugees, to the FDLR and to the Congolese people who are in the Kivu, MONUC and agencies operating in the east of the DRC have never ceased to publish leaflets and false information in order to tarnish the image of the FDLR. Thus in February 2009, MONUC did not hesitate to falsely accuse the FDLR of having committed a massacre of over 100 people in Pinga in North Kivu (see the FDLR press release dated 20 February 2009). The investigation requested by the FDLR to clarify the existence of the alleged massacre, and if so to identify the perpetrators, has never been made although officers of MONUC and several UN agencies including OCHA operate in the city of Pinga .
The FDLR urge MONUC and other organisations present in the DRC like OCHA to put an end to their misleading campaign because it does not honour them.
The FDLR remain willing to work with MONUC, OCHA and other organizations guided by good faith in order to elucidate the various crimes committed in the DRC, especially in the Kivu.
The FDLR remain committed to peace and remind that ”The Rome Declaration” of 31 March 2005 is so far the only known framework for the search of solution to the political problem of Rwanda in which they were associated.
Done in Paris on 20 March 2009