FDRL commander defects

RUBAVU - Internal wrangles and sectarianism have engulfed the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Lt. Col. Elie Mutarambirwa, the latest rebel officer to defect has revealed.
Lt. Col. Elie Mutarambirwa speaking to The New Times in Rubavu (Photo: R. Mugabe)
Lt. Col. Elie Mutarambirwa speaking to The New Times in Rubavu (Photo: R. Mugabe)

RUBAVU - Internal wrangles and sectarianism have engulfed the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Lt. Col. Elie Mutarambirwa, the latest rebel officer to defect has revealed.

Mutarambirwa, alias Martin Safari, the former commander of FDRL First Battalion code named Someka of 1st Division covering North Kivu, says he defected, following wrangles in their hierarchy.

He was repatriated to Rwanda on Monday.
He left Rwanda in 1994, as a 2nd Lieutenant. The 43-year old Mutarambirwa was repatriated after spending nearly a month with the UN Mission in DRC MONUSCO.

“I took the decision to defect after realising that we had lost the purpose of fighting, I can’t fight my comrades who were with me in FOCA-FDRL; who defected and joined the national army,” Mutarambirwa told The New Times.

According to Mutarambirwa, the situation changed, after the arrest of Murwanashyaka and other top FDRL leaders.
“We have this situation whereby people who came from north and western regions in Rwanda mistrust other commanders, and as you observe the force has lost the purpose of fighting thus creating differences,” Mutarambwirwa added.

“From my observation since I arrived in Rwanda on Monday, the country is good and welcoming. I would like to take this opportunity to call upon friends in the jungles of DRC to lay down their arms and come to our mother country,” Mutarambirwa added.

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