Some elements in the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) are allegedly conniving and facilitating the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, The New Times has reliably learnt.
Despite the current seemingly renewed international efforts against the rebels, it is alleged that MONUC has been actually facilitating the reportedly ailing FDLR commander Maj. Gen. Sylvestre Mudacumura, while at the same time supporting the on going joint operation Kimia II.
Reliable sources from former insiders in the FDLR camp, say that Mudacumura has been seriously sick – suffering from injury and other diseases, and was last month approached by MONUC seeking to be airlifted to Congo Brazzaville for treatment.
“They (MONUC) got divided on whether to airlift him or not. Among the MONUC officials, who are ardent supporters of FDLR and are handling this highly guarded secret and sensitive operation include someone called Christian Manhal – MONUC’s coordinator in eastern DRC,” the source said.
The FDLR, considered to be the main cause of insecurity in eastern DRC , are remnants of the former Rwandan army ex-Far and Interahamwe militia who spearheaded the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Since the ploy to airlift Mudacumura could not be supported by MONUC leadership, sources say Manhal, in collaboration with MONUC’s intelligence chief, connived with FDLR leadership and sympathizers in Europe to bring medical doctors into the Congolese jungle hideout in the Walikale region of DRC’s North Kivu Province to treat Mudacumura.
Two expatriate doctors are believed to have arrived in Kisangani, on their way to Walikale, to accomplish their mission.
It is reported that Manhal has been holding secret meetings with the FDLR both in the DRC and Europe leaking all the strategies devised by regional countries and international community.
“This highly top secret operation coupled together with the strategy of international NGOs like Human Rights Watch, are now screaming to stop military operations against FDLR, something that reveals an international network that supports the FDLR,” continued our source.
The source said that there are MONUC personnel specifically deployed to ensure that the FDLR survives.
When reached yesterday for comment, MONUC’s military Spokesperson, Lt Col Jean Paul Dietrich sounded taken aback.
“If it is some silent operation that is ongoing, I don’t know – maybe it is a deal to make him surrender – if he is ready to be repatriated – I have no idea – I am just speaking on a personal level,” he said.
Dietrich promised to look into the matter but warned it could be false information, but noted as well that under international laws governing war, there is always such a possibility.
“Be careful, there is a lot of misinformation going on – I don’t know if he was wounded or anything at all. It is not unusual – some FDLR combatants can get medical assistance from MONUC – we have done it to the Mai-Mai before and it is [in accordance with] international law, the Geneva Convention.”
The development comes just days after the European Union vowed to crack the whip on FDLR elements, especially members of the militia group’s political wing who are largely living in European capitals.
While in Kigali, recently, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said that the problem of FDLR is being resolved by the European Union.
Another top UN official – Alain Le Roy, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at the UN, also stressed that European countries were being pressurized to act on leaders of the FDLR militia.