EARLY this week, ugly reports from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), indicated that abuses, especially rape, looting and raids, perpetrated by members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia are on the rise.
The FDLR rebel group, comprising mainly of remnants of masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, has been operating in DRC since 1994 and is responsible for the loss of many innocent civilians’ lives.
50 women in Walikale in Eastern DRC were gang raped in the last few weeks. The terrorist group also raped 70 other women in a separate incident.
Prior to the two incidents, other reports had indicated that the rebels looted villages and gang-raped nearly 180 women in a series of attacks between July 30 and August 3, this year, in the Walikale region of North Kivu.
The Congolese Army spokesperson in North Kivu Province, acknowledged the alarming developments and the The UN Secretary-General announced that he was sending Atul Khare, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, to the DRC to investigate the attacks.
While it is clear that the Congolese government has the will to fight the FDLR, the continued killings and raping put into question the DRC’s capacity and effectiveness to put an end to this menace.
But, talk without action will not end the daily suffering and loss of innocent lives, caused by the FDLR.
Dealing with the FDLR, once and for all, is going to require active international involvement.