A meeting of the ministers of defence and army chiefs from the CEPGL member states of Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda, in Kigali, last week, concluded that a new armed group had been created in DR Congo’s North Kivu province to destabilize Rwanda and the wider region.
The outfit, was created by Rwandan fugitives Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegeya, who, along with Theogene Rudasingwa and Gerald Gahima, were convicted and sentenced for, among others, forming a terrorist group, threatening state security, undermining public order and promoting ethnic divisions.
Reports of these fugitives engaging in violent activities, intended to reverse the tremendous gains made by the Rwandan people and their neighbours across the region are not new. Last year, a UN Security Council Group of Experts’ report revealed that both Kayumba and Karegyeya have established strong links with the FDLR terrorist organization and were involved with armed groups in the DRC. These accounts were later corroborated by various senior officers of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
That in this day and age some individuals and groups are still ganging up to inflict atrocities on innocent people and to use violent means against a democratically elected government is incomprehensive, to say the least. Such illegitimate and violent schemes, whereas they stand no chance to defeat the popular will of the people, have the potential to destabilize the region, through conscription of innocent children in their ranks, killing, raping, maiming and looting.
Once again, we find ourselves in a situation that calls for urgent and concerted efforts from the people and governments of this region. Regional states have a moral and mutual obligation to decisively put an end to such terrorist activities and to bring to book such criminals. The peoples of this region have suffered enough and cannot afford to lose what they have worked so hard to achieve.