KIGALI - A top commander in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) terrorist organization, has corroborated the UN Security Council report which, last year, confirmed that Rwandan fugitives, Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegeya have established strong relationship with the FDLR as they work to combine resources and strategies to destabilize the region.
“For almost a year now, Kayumba and Karegeya have had sustained contact and high level meetings with senior FDLR leaders and this has led to the merging of resources and efforts between the two sides,” Col. Bizimana, yesterday, told reporters at Mutobo reception centre in Musanze District, where he arrived after escaping from the FDLR camps in the Eastern Democratic of Congo (DRC), last week..
He went on to say that the meetings and consultations have been taking place in South Africa and the Eastern Africa region.
Bizimana further disclosed that after the merger of the Kayumba-Karegeya group with the FDLR outfit, Gerald Gahima has emerged as the most active coordinator in Europe and North America, where he, and Theogene Rudasingwa, have linked up with Paul Rusesabagina and the remaining top FDLR officials after the arrest of Ignace Murwanashyaka, Straton Musoni and Callixte Mbarushimana.
The UN report- submitted last year- by the Security Council Committee established to look into rebel activities in the DRC, concluded that “independent sources” have linked the two renegades (Kayumba and Karegeya) to the FDLR.
“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 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.
Meanwhile, Col. Bizimana has revealed that the rebel outfit has been weakened by continuous attacks from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army and the arrests of their top brass, Murwanashyaka and Mbarushimana.
“The recent arrest of the FDLR leaders was a big blow to the force,” he said.
Bizimana, who was speaking after surrendering and returning to Rwanda, explained that the lifestyle in the jungles of DRC was unbearable, forcing him to find his way home.
“It was survival for the fittest, there were many diseases, no food, and no medication, basically life was extremely bad,” he said.
The FDLR is a terrorist organization, comprising mainly the perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Bizimana pointed out that during his time in the FDLR, he had served in various capacities and executed several operations, including heading the FDLR base in Lubero, DRC.
“Just before I returned, I had been posted to the High Command Secretariat,” he added.
Bizimana, who comes shortly after several other senior FDLR officers had voluntarily surrendered and returned to Rwanda, said that he decided to return home after he was assured by members of his family that the country was peaceful.
“I kept receiving messages from my family and former colleagues who defected to Rwanda and assured me that the country was peaceful and the government wanted us to return willingly,” he said.
Bizimana, added that while there are many combatants, especially in the lower ranks, who would like to return to Rwanda, escaping from the FDLR is not easy.
“Leaving the jungles in Congo is one of the most dangerous and risky moves. If caught, you risk being killed,” he said. “I used military techniques to escape to the MONUSCO base.”
The 45-year old who left Rwanda in 1994 as a Second Lieutenant, called upon his comrades who are still in the bush, to end the FDLR propaganda and their efforts to destabilize the region.
He said that he is ready to do anything to earn a living but given the opportunity, he would serve in the Rwandan Defence Forces.