Time runs out for FDLR in Congo

After 14 painstaking years, the United Nations Security Council has at long last taken the bold step of calling a spade a spade. It has decided to put its foot down and clamp down on Rwandan insurgents operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. But as the saying goes, better late than never. The people of Rwanda can feel vindicated that the international community has at last seen through the smokescreen which had been put up by the genocidal forces and their backroom backers.

After 14 painstaking years, the United Nations Security Council has at long last taken the bold step of calling a spade a spade.

It has decided to put its foot down and clamp down on Rwandan insurgents operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. But as the saying goes, better late than never.

The people of Rwanda can feel vindicated that the international community has at last seen through the smokescreen which had been put up by the genocidal forces and their backroom backers.

Despite the fact that even the government of the DRC has publicly acknowledged that FDLR/ Interahamwe forces were terrorising and wreaking havoc on Congolese subjects, little has been done to reign in these renegade forces.

Instead, like chameleons which change their colours to suit their environment, FDLR has also changed names in a bid to melt into nature, away from the unfavourable limelight of its atrocities.

When ALIR (formerly going by the names of RDR, ABACUNGUZI, FOCA, etc) was named as a terrorist organisation by the United States, it "died" a mysterious death, only for FDLR to be born with the same birthmark.

But beneath the new coat was the same blood-smeared body of Interahamwe militias and members of the former Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR) who spearheaded the slaughter of over a million lives in Rwanda in 1994.

Now all eyes are looking across the border into eastern DRC. The clock is ticking in Kinshasa to implement the accord signed with Rwanda in Nairobi late last year to get rid of the rebels.

The UN mission in DRC (MONUC) also has to earn its keep. It is time to leave the comforts of the suburbs of Kinshasa, Kisangani and Goma and realistically put their mandate into practice.

MONUC now no longer has an excuse. It has been ordered to pull out all the stops and this is the time to redeem itself. There is a Kinyarwanda proverb that translates into: "The lifespan of a thief is forty days."

Back in the Congolese jungles, the lifespan has been stretched to a decade and a half, but time has at last caught up with them.

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