KIGALI - A top UN official Monday revealed that France and other European countries were being pressured to act on leaders of the FDLR militia.
Alain Le Roy, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at the UN —himself a French national—was responding to questions from the press, moments after a closed–door session with government officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNAFFET).
“When we meet representatives of heads of state of these member states (harbouring FDRL), we raise the question all the time – they have to act,” Le Roy said adding that this position was also shared by the UN Secretary General
“We cannot tell you all that is going on because there are some discreet actions, but I must say, quite a lot is being done and you will see that in the coming months, especially in Europe.”
The French diplomat did not hesitate to point a finger at his country.
“You talked about Europe which is very clear. You mentioned France and Germany, which is very clear – I think they are progressing quite well there and we will continue the pressure.”
Le Roy’s high-level delegation including Alan Doss, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC and MONUC Force Commander, Gen Babacar Gaye, they met top government officials including Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali.
Top of the agenda were Rwanda’s involvement in peacekeeping operations and enhancing peace and security in the region, with special considerations to the ongoing UN backed operations against the FDLR, by the Congolese army (FARDC).
Museminali said there was consensus on consolidation of action against FDLR at all levels – in eastern DRC and internationally, if real long lasting peace is to be achieved.
“Our message was also – the fact that FDLR should now really be looked at by the world, and be defined, as a terrorist group as opposed to how they are being handled today,” she emphasized.
Le Roy then highlighted the existence of what he referred to as “the multidimensional effort towards the FDLR” problem.
Explaining this multidimensional effort, Doss referred to the Nairobi communiqué [of two years ago] which envisaged a combination of two approaches –military pressure and non-military initiatives.
“The non-military initiatives are essentially two-fold, one of course is on the expatriate leaders who are based in Europe and elsewhere – to cut them from the commanders on the ground,” Doss said.
“We all agree that this has to be emphasized but also strengthened – we need to see more direct action and we’ve made some suggestions as to how that could be done through the security council.”
Doss said the second measure is increasing MONUC’s DDRRR units in DRC to facilitate the surrender or defection of FDLR.