Regional leaders should stop endorsing endless resolutions against FDLR and instead focus on taking tangible actions against the militia, local analysts have said in reaction to latest resolutions against the group from an ICGLR Heads of State and Government summit on Monday.
Based in eastern DR Congo where its members continuously commit crimes against humanity, FDLR is a Rwandan militia made up of remnants of genocidaires who committed the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Fighting against the group is one of the resolutions made by Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) after meeting in an extra-ordinary summit in Luanda, Angola, on Monday.
Their resolutions include “encouraging the Government of DR Congo to continue military offensive against FDLR and other negative forces in eastern DR Congo with special emphasis on neutralisng their command structures.”
They also “encouraged Kinshasa and the United Nations to restore a conducive environment for resuming cooperation between Congolese army (FARDC) and the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in DR Congo (Monusco) through the current strategic dialogue in order to increase pressure on FDLR, as well as all other negative forces and armed groups operating in Eastern DRC”.
But analysts told The New Times that all the above resolutions are nothing new, describing them as the same declarations which had already been made by ICGLR’s leaders in their previous summits as well as the international community through the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Since members of FDLR militia failed to voluntarily disarm by January 2, a deadline set by the same regional grouping with backing from the UN, observers called on the leaders to start discussing how to implement robust military action against FDLR instead of continuously resolving to fight them without showing how to do it.
“It sounds like the leaders keep saying that they have decided to fight FDLR without actually going ahead to do so,” said Pierre Ruzirabwoba Rwanyindo, founder of the Kigali-based Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), a local think tank.
According to Dr John Musemakweri, director of IRDP, it’s high time both regional leaders and the international community told the truth about measures to fight against the FDLR.
“There is no value addition recycling similar resolutions about fighting the FDLR all the time; what can bring peace for both DR Congo and the region is telling the truth about FDLR and acting accordingly. The militia is the cause of insecurity in both DR Congo and the region; we need to tell the truth and agree on who should do what and when in fighting the group. We need to come up with a timeframe to end the threat posed by FDLR,” he said.
Musemakweri challenged both leaders of regional countries and the international community on truth-telling.
“Building sustainable peace requires telling the truth. It should be clear to everyone that the FDLR causes insecurity in both DR Congo and the region,” he said.
Zeno Mutimura, the chairperson of parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, said enough resolutions on FDLR have been made and there is need to push for their implementation at the moment.
“Many good resolutions against the FDLR have been made but political will is needed for them to be implemented. We must keep pushing for the implementation of the resolutions,” he said.
The MP has said joint forces of regional armies and the Congolese army; for instance, working on the same model as ‘Umoja Wetu’ military operation can succeed in fighting the militia.
Umoja Wetu, which means ‘Our Unity’, is a joint military offensive against FDLR that was conducted by the Rwandan army and the Congolese army in 2009.