KIGALI - Even though no details were disclosed to the media, top Rwandan and Congolese defence officials meeting in Kigali, announced Tuesday that they had designed and agreed on concrete measures to stamp out FDLR rebels in eastern DRC.
A DRC official, Col. Augustin Mamba, frst revealed this while reading from a final joint statement, at the end of a two-day closed session led by the defence ministers ; Rwanda’s Gen. James Kabarebe and DRC’s Charles Mwando Nsimba.
The measures are set in a joint report containing resolutions and decisions by the Rwandan and DRC defence chiefs; Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga and Lt. Gen. Didier Etumba Longila respectively, under the guidance and orientation of the two countries’ defense ministers.
“Today’s meeting has made yet another stride by recommending other useful actions which, if implemented, will drastically weaken FDLR/FOCA and other armed groups which have already been weakened but not totally eradicated,” said Gen. Kabarebe.
Mwando reiterated his government’s strong support for all efforts to attain a stable, peaceful and prosperous region, while his Rwandan counterpart noted that ever since such meetings started, a lot of progress has been registered.
Gen. Kabarebe noted the progress brought about by earlier military offensives against the FDLR, such as operations Umoja Wetu, Kimia I and II, Amani Leo and recent joint intelligence operations. DRC’s Gen. Dieudonne Hamuli, the Commander of the current operation – Amani Leo, in North and South Kivu provinces, was also present.
Earlier on Monday, Mwando underscored that his country’s army (FARDC) continues with “actions of cleaning up and neutralizing” FDLR pockets in his country, and dismissed the notion that the two countries could be planning another joint military operation to hunt down the rebels.
Mwando and Kabarebe acknowledge that the remaining FDLR, though weakened, still have a capacity for nuisance and hence the need for more strategies.
The FDLR, are remnants of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia who spearheaded the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, before fleeing into neighbouring DRC.