Spain, France on the spot over FDLR links

KIGALI - The UN’s Eminent Group of Expert report on rebel militias in the DRC is expected to reveal Spanish and French connections to the FDLR militia, The New Times has been informed. The group of experts is said to have earlier sent correspondences to several countries seeking information on the FDLR support network.  

KIGALI - The UN’s Eminent Group of Expert report on rebel militias in the DRC is expected to reveal Spanish and French connections to the FDLR militia, The New Times has been informed.

The group of experts is said to have earlier sent correspondences to several countries seeking information on the FDLR support network.

In Spain, the correspondences sought information on Spanish nationals allegedly supporting the ‘terrorist group’ but Spanish authorities are believed to have leaked the correspondence, in an attempt to pre-empt investigations.

An insider within the group of experts, speaking on condition of anonymity, recently told The New Times that the report is likely to “put to light the double language and inconsistencies of some in the international community.”

“The experts asked Spain and France to provide telephone contacts and other information – did they cooperate? Let’s wait and see what the report says,” a source speaking on condition of anonymity said Tuesday.

Spanish nationals implicated here include Juan Carrero Saralegui, head of the S’Olivar Foundation and some ‘white fathers’ who it is alleged continue to work closely with other anti-Rwanda NGOs, in supporting FDLR.

“It is this network that has been recruiting people to travel to Arusha to testify in favour of genocide suspects.”

It is also reliably believed that the Spanish FDLR network also includes the Brothers of Charity in Tanzania, Burundi and in eastern DRC.

“They are all coordinated by Juan Cassoliva who is based in Kigoma and regularly makes trips to the Great Lakes Region, especially to Burundi and Uvira,” the source revealed.

“Funds received by S’Olivar are basically used to support FDLR and in supporting efforts of the Spanish lawyer in the case against Rwanda.”

Juan Cassoliva is allegedly among those behind www.inshuti.org, an anti-Rwanda website.
When contacted Wednesday, Juan Manuel González, the Tanzania-based Spanish Ambassador to Rwanda, said that his country cooperated with the UN experts, but could not reveal more as he said he was ill, and in hospital in Spain.
“Yes of course, but I am in hospital and I can’t speak much now – call the embassy in Tanzania,” Ambassador González said referring this reporter to his charge d’Affaires in Tanzania, who unfortunately, could not be reached on phone.

The final report of the Group of Experts on the DRC is expected to be presented by the Security Council today.

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