A Congolese army spokesperson has said that the Rwandan militia, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) operating in the eastern part of the country, “pose no threat” at all, as their capacity to regroup has been diminished.
“We have really destroyed them and they are suffering – they don’t hold any ground at all apart from the fact that they still run in very small groups of two or three as they steal chickens from locals,” Capt. Olivier Hamuli told The New Times on phone yesterday.
The FDLR has for over the past one year been under fire from a series of operations aimed at routing them.
Nonetheless, Capt. Hamuli acknowledged the grave effect of the scattered little groups that remain in the Congolese jungle.
“Yes, there are some people (Congolese locals) who are at risk, but this is on a very low scale and it will end,” he said.
Early this year, the three military chiefs of Rwanda, the DRC and Burundi met in the western Congolese port city of Matadi and made several commitments ranging from maintaining military pressure on FDLR to setting up a joint monitoring mechanism and the sharing of intelligence.
The FDLR are remnants of the former Rwanda government forces (Ex-Far) and Interahamwe militia responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.
After the Genocide, they fled to eastern DRC where they settled, regrouped and have been operating with impunity.
Maj. Gen. Silvestre Mudacumura, the Commander of FDLR rebels’ military wing (FOCA), is still at large, hiding in the east DRC jungle region of Walikale, but hundreds of his fighters have either been captured or killed while others have returned home.