Genocide Survivors call for action against FDLR

KIGALI - Genocide Survivors have called upon regional countries and the international community to bring an end to the ‘international impunity’ shown through the support given to Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) whose sole objective is to “exterminate the Tutsi.”
IBUKA:Theodore Simburudari
IBUKA:Theodore Simburudari

KIGALI - Genocide Survivors have called upon regional countries and the international community to bring an end to the ‘international impunity’ shown through the support given to Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) whose sole objective is to “exterminate the Tutsi.”

FDLR, a rebel group mainly composed of Ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia who spearheaded the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, is based in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

In a strong message to thousands of people, including diplomatic corps and international delegates who gathered at Rebero Genocide memorial site to mark the end of the official commemoration week, Theodore Simburudari, the president of Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors’ associations, said that it is unfortunate that the international community still supports the rebels under the disguise of opposition politics.

Simburudari condemned the continued support to the rebels and other politicians working in the country who have links to the rebels.

“We find this a deliberate act by neighbouring countries and the international community to conspire with this group which is considered a terrorist organisation to exterminate the Tutsi,” Simburudari said.

“Therefore, what we are doing here is just to commemorate and not paying attention to those issues that still traumatise Genocide survivors. We find this unacceptable”.

Simburudari said it was unfortunates that some regional countries act as safe havens and training grounds for the same people who carried out the 1994 Genocide, while others continue to support opposition leaders who the UN report clearly found to be linked to FDLR.

In reference to the findings of the UN Experts’ Report which showed that the FDLR has a big network in the region and worldwide, Simburudari singled out Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, as one of the people linked to the FDLR, but the international community continues to mount support for her under the label of  an ‘opposition politician’.

He noted that in a move which has upset survivors, Ingabire and other FDU-Inkingi members, on several occasions attended FDLR meetings and fundraising campaigns in Europe and DRC, and yet the same people are in the country campaigning for political positions and are protected by the international community.

The head of Ibuka accused a number of western countries where FDLR leaders ‘continue to roam freely’, including Spain, United States, Norway, Netherlands and several other European countries, of continuing to give the rebels a platform to fundraise for their terrorist activities.

In what he termed as ‘double standards’, Simburudari said that Paris and Brussels in particular, have deliberately refused to cooperate with the UN investigators collecting information on the rebels leaders still living in these countries.

He noted that the arrest of Ignace Murwanashyaka, the president of FDLR and his deputy, Straton Musoni, in November 2009 in Germany, after the release of the UN report, should not be seen as a sign of commitment from European countries, but rather a beginning of a long process to bring an end to international impunity.

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