The spokesperson of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia, Ignace Nkaka best known as LaForge Fils Bazeye, is in custody following his arrest over the weekend by the Congolese army.
The FDLR comprises remnants of masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. They fled the country in 1994 after masterminding the killing of more than one million people.
Nkaka’s arrest was first revealed in a tweet by Olivier Nduhungirehe, the Minister of State in charge of the East African Community (EAC) who noted that he hopes “that he [Bazeye] will be repatriated to Rwanda.”
The development has since been confirmed to a local publication by Major Ndjike Kaiko, a spokesperson of the Congolese armed forces, (FARDC).
Nkaka was according to sources arrested at the Bunagana border which links Uganda to DRC, and was together with Lt Col Jean Pierre Nsekanabo, the outfit’s head of intelligence.
Kaiko, who is based in eastern DR Congo, told the local publication that he could only confirm the arrest but that it was not up to him to determine the next course of action; whether to send the militia leaders to Rwanda or to send them to the Congolese capital Kinshasa.
For the past one month, hundreds of FDLR fighters have been repatriated to Rwanda by Congolese authorities.
Among those repatriated are senior officers who are now undergoing a reintegration training at Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration Centre in Musanze District.
More about Ignace Nkaka
Nkaka, it is said, replaced another FDLR mouth-piece Michel Habimana, alias Edmond Ngarambe, who was captured in a joint military operation by Congolese and Rwandan troops in 2009.
Until 2009, Nkaka was deputy spokesperson and became full spokesperson after the capture of his former boss.
The native of the former Gisenyi Préfecture (current Rubavu District), Nkaka was a student at the then Nyakinama University in the present-day Musanze District at the peak of the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.
Between July 1994 and November 1996, he is believed to have lived with his wife in Kibumba Refugee Camp, in North Kivu.
A year later, he returned to Rwanda and then left again, in 1998, to join the former Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR), a militia group largely composed of members of the Interahamwe and defeated government forces of the Genocidal regime, as a civilian political cadre.
His elder brother, Lt.Col. Léonard Nkundiye, alias Kirenge – former chief of the Republican Guard – was deputy chief of staff of ALIR and coordinator of the activities of its political wing, the Party for the Liberation of Rwanda (PALIR), until his death in battle with other insurgents in 1998.
In 2000, ALIR merged with other groups based in Kinshasa and formed FDLR.
For the past 24 years, the militia outfit has been entrenched in the DRC’s vast eastern region where they have continued to cause a humanitarian catastrophe – killing, raping and plundering – as well as launching attacks into Rwanda.
The militia last week struck again, exchanging fire with the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) before being repulsed.