A group of Congolese rebels of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) who recently claimed to have ousted their leader, Gen. Laurent Nkunda, yesterday announced that they were ending their rebellion against the Kinshasa government “with immediate effect”.
In a statement signed by top commanders of the CNDP who rallied behind the fomenter of the palace coup, CNDP Chief of Staff Gen. Bosco Ntaganda , the rebels said they were putting their troops at the disposal of the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) government.
“The CNDP requests the government of the DRC the setting up of a joint commission to implement the reintegration into the FARDC (government army),” the statement reads.
The officers said that they were committed to the peace process and ready to take part in a joint effort to neutralise FDLR/ Interahamwe rebels in accordance with an agreement signed between Rwanda and the DRC.
They added that they “expect the FARDC to take into account this support for the quick restoration of trust and security in eastern DRC.”
The group requested the immediate removal of all their roadblocks mounted by both CNDP and FARDC to allow free movement of people and goods in the whole of North Kivu province so as to allow the displaced to return to their homes.
In return, the rebels demanded that the Congolese government to put into effect the amnesty law that covers the insurrection in accordance with the Goma peace plan.
Another demand was the quick solution to the return of Congolese refugees in exile, but added that it was first necessary to deal with the issue of the FDLR “in the shortest time possible” to facilitate this return.
The FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) are remnants of former Rwanda Government Forces (Ex-FAR) and Interahamwe militia responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.
They have been holed up in eastern Kivu for the past decade where they have had a free run of the country with the tacit approval of previous Congolese governments, many times lending FARDC a hand in its war against CNDP.
Ntaganda’s success in rallying top military commanders – who at the beginning had resisted Nkunda’s ouster – to his side is a heavy blow to the latter’s aspirations.
Those who signed the truce announcement include Colonels Makenga Sultan (deputy Chief of Staff), the chief of operations, Muhindo Faustin, Ruhorimbere Eric, Gahizi Innocent, Micho Claude, Kabundi Innocent, Munyakazi Esaïe and Ngaruye Baudouin.
Two Lt. Cols: Mulomba Bahati and Nsengiyumva Wilson were also signatories.