• Region steadily stabilizes
GOMA – The ongoing Rwanda-DRC military offensive against negative forces, especially ex-Far/Interahamwe elements in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has registered victories on three fronts lately.
According to a late Tuesday evening press release, signed by the operations commander Lt. Gen. John Numbi, these successes were in Rutshuru and Masisi Monday and, on the Lubero axis Sunday.
The press statement specifies that on the Rutshuru axis, the joint forces captured 13 FDLR elements and three Pareco militias and recovered six AK 47 rifles Monday.
This was in Nyamitwitwi, Kiseguro and Nyakakoma in Binza location. It further says that in the location of Bukoma in Kaunga, nine FDLR elements surrendered.
In Masisi, situated about 70 kilometers North West of the provincial town of Goma, and at Kalonge in particular, the military reportedly destroyed an FDLR command post and their Silvestre Mudacumura, is said to be on the run towards Bugoyi location.
On the other hand, in Lubero, a zone just over 130 kilometers north of Goma, seven FDLR were killed and one rifle and dozens munitions captured.
The statement also mentions yet more rebel reintegration into the DRC regular army – FARDC.
“We equally note that the Mai Mai La Fontaine chief just laid down arms and joined FARDC to be integrated this Monday,” reads the statement, also highlighting that the joint forces destroyed FDLR positions in Kinyamuyaga sector, located within Virunga National Park, some 12 kilometers from Kanyabayonga.
Umoja Wetu (Our unity) is code for the joint Rwanda-DRC military offensive against negative forces in DRC’s vast eastern region.
The ex-Far/Interahamwe, now grouped under the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), are perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda that cost the lives of over one million people.
After the genocide, they sought refuge in neighboring DRC where they have been killing, raping and pillaging, in addition to being a constant grave security concern to Rwanda.
Rwanda’s security concerns largely that prompted the bilateral talks last year – talks from which were borne the current joint Rwanda-DRC preemptive military operation to do away with them.
• Calm returning
Every passing day is registering significant progress in pacifying the region. This is manifested, in part, by the increasing number of rebels surrendering and reintegrating as well as the internally displaced population gradually returning home.
As observed by The New Times, people in Kibumba and Kibati camps located north of Goma are slowly returning home. The slow movement is due to lack of information but a wide campaign championed by local politicians is countering this.
Furthermore, Bunagana a border post with Uganda located over 60 kilometers north east of Goma was re-opened over the week-end.
Sake and Mushaki, regions just about 20 and 30 kilometers to the west of provincial headquarters Goma respectively are also calm and locals are returning home, markets reopening and people resuming their daily activities.
“Things are returning to normal here, people can go to their gardens, which was impossible earlier and, certainly some are still in the camps but effort being made to let them know all is well,” a local leader said Sunday.
The fertile hilly slopes of Sake, it is said, are a major source of agricultural produce – especially Irish potatoes – to Goma, Gisenyi in Rwanda and many other neighboring areas.