Parliament was yesterday, briefed on the start of a joint DR Congo and Rwandan government initiative, to root out FDLR forces from the Eastern DR Congo.
Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel outfit based in eastern DR Congo comprised mainly of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis who are causing much mayhem and human suffering – a terrible humanitarian catastrophe.
The joint initiative dubbed the “four plus four” is a high-level bilateral framework made up of senior intelligence and foreign affairs officials, from both countries. Its mandate is to work on a conceptual plan to root out the FDLR.
A corner could possibly have been turned in DR Congo and Rwanda relations. Congolese could soon be rescued out of this hell they call home.
A welcome historic development indeed, because not only is it the first time the DR Congo has openly acknowledged the problem with the continued existence of the FDLR to regional peace and stability, they have also agreed for the first time to have Rwanda involved in solving the issue.
Certainly, Rwanda has an interest in laying to rest ghosts of the past, some of whom should be serving time in jail for genocide crimes.
Rwanda’s plan goes beyond just seeking justice, but to completely demobilise the rebels and fully integrate them into society as civilians. A civilised alternative as compared to, war, rape and looting.
For those who have been diplomatically shuttling in and out of the region, this again is good news given that the FDLR have been a constant thorn in the flesh to peace efforts.
At the core of past peace-keeping agreements has been the issue to do with demobilisation of the FDLR, making the current initiative between DR Congo and Rwanda, a first key step at implementing past agreements towards lasting peace to the war ravaged Congo. Eastern Congo needs less peace-keeping troops and more political will to end the crisis once and for all.