FDLR PRESS RELEASE NR. 02/SE/CD/MARCH/2009
The FDLR deny reports that the Rwandan army would have completely left the DRC and call for an international inquiry into war crimes committed by the coalition of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC).
The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) deny the statements made by General John Numbi, Head of the coalition of RPA/FARDC that the last Rwandan soldier had left the territory of the DRC. The FDLR inform the public and the media that 12,000 troops of Kagame are still present in the Kivu region in DRC and that there is always fighting between the Rwandan troops and the FDLR in Masisi and Rutshuru. In addition, a Rwandan military helicopter has recently been repainted in white to show that it belongs to the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) and has made several rotations on 2 and 3 March 2009 to evacuate Rwandan soldiers dead or wounded and supply in ammunition the military units of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) which are currently deployed in eastern DRC.
The FDLR inform the public and the International Community that Kagame's troops present in the DRC currently wear uniforms of the Congolese regular army that have been given to RPA by General John Numbi for camouflage purposes. That is why neither the Congolese nor the Rwandan authorities have ever provided a number of Rwandan soldiers who entered in and left the DRC.
The FDLR remind the public that the clique in power in Kigali with the complicity of some senior leaders of the FARDC and Congolese politicians has set up a joint Rwandan-Congolese structure for the exploitation of mining in the Kivu; thus it is not surprising that these same officers and Congolese politicians deceive international opinion and their own people by saying that all Rwandan soldiers who had intervened in the DRC have returned home.
The FDLR urge once again the United Nations to establish without delay an independent commission of inquiry to shed light on war crimes committed by the coalition of RPA/FARDC/ PARECO in Katoyi in Masisi territory in January 2009 (see our release No 6 of 20 February 2009) and other crimes that the same coalition has committed against Rwandan refugees and Congolese populations in Masisi and Rutshuru.
The FDLR inform the public that they have credible reports that Rwandan Hutu refugees caught by this coalition have been tortured and thrown alive into the rivers crossing Masisi among which is the Nyabarongo river. The light must be made on these heinous crimes and those responsible for these crimes should not escape justice. This is the price for a lasting peace in the African Great Lakes region and the achievement of a true reconciliation between all peoples of the region.
The FDLR urge the UN Secretary-General to support the peaceful processes and not war as he himself said in his speech in Tanzania and reiterate their willingness to return to their homeland and their readiness to engage in direct talks with the Kigali regime for that end.
The FDLR urge the UN Secretary-General, in collaboration with the African Union, to establish an inclusive mechanism that allows the holding of such talks, which are the only viable way to finding a lasting peace and harmonious development in the African Great Lakes region.
Done in Paris on 4 March 2009
Executive Secretary of the FDLR