KIGALI - A United Nations Security Council experts report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has linked Rwandan fugitives, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegeya to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels.
The report, submitted last week by the Security Council Committee established to look into rebel activities in the DRC, concluded that “independent sources” have linked the two renegades to the terrorist outfit in Eastern DRC.
“Several independent sources, including one in Kampala and one within FPLC (Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo), informed the Group that FRF (Federal Republican Forces, a rebel group in DRC) had agreed to join the FPLC coalition, all alleging that those contacts may have been facilitated by Kayumba Nyamwasa, the dissident former Rwandan general,” excerpts from the report state.
“In addition, according to credible testimony from various sources, former CNDP officers have been in contact with Rwandan political dissidents in South Africa, including Patrick Karegeya, and Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.”
The report further confirmed that the Group of Experts directly witnessed a conversation between Karegeya and former officers of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) reintegrated into the DRC national army (FARDC), suggesting that the former army officers are involved in divisive activities.
“The Group directly witnessed a conversation between Karegeya and former CNDP FARDC officers in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in September. According to United Nations sources and combatants interviewed by the Group, Kayumba may have sent an emissary to meet with FDLR, FPLC and Mai Mai leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in February,” the report adds.
Both Kayumba and Karegeya are believed to be the masterminds behind the grenade attacks that exploded in Kigali, early this year.
The fugitives have since been indicted and face various charges including forming a terrorist group, ethnic divisionism, threatening national security, undermining state authority, and spreading harmful propaganda.
“We are not surprised by the UN report. The information we have is that they are involved in criminal activities and they are busy forming alliances with criminal groups,” said Defence and military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara.
“Their alliances with criminals are different; some are Rwandan, others are not, but we know their leadership is based in the region. We know that these groups are bent on creating instability in the region.” Rutaremara told The New Times.
The same report revealed that the FDLR, which mainly comprises of Ex-FAR and Interahamwe genocidal forces, was in possession of a large stockpile of uranium, used to make nuclear weapons, which they have failed to sell for the last two years.
The FDLR rebels discovered a deposit six 70-kilogramme canisters of the mineral in Walikale territory of eastern DRC, after a tip-off by local chiefs.
The minerals were found in 2008 in a hidden underground vault.