KIGALI - As the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) continues to suffer heavy defeat at the hands of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), armed forces and MONESCO, Rwandan fugitives Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegyeya have vowed to re-energize the outfit.
The plans were revealed, over the weekend, by Lt. Col Abraham Sam Bisengimana, a former FDLR Commander who surrendered last week and returned home, owing to what he describes as “wrangles and nepotism” within the ranks of the terrorist group.
Speaking to reporters in Mutobo, Northern Province, Lt. Col. Bisengimana confirmed that in a meeting held in Pretoria, South Africa on January30, 2011 and attended by about 10 people, Kayumba and Karegyeya were designated as intermediaries between the FDLR and the international stakeholders.
In the meeting moderated by Frank Ntwali, Kayumba’s brother-in-law and attended by top FDLR representatives as well as ex-FAR commanders living in Cape Town, Kayumba and Karegyeya committed themselves to the task of procuring weapons and working to sanitize the FDLR, by helping improve its propaganda campaign.
Lt. Col. Bisengimana further told the journalists that Theogene Rudasingwa, Gerald Gahima, Paul Rusesabagina, as well as representatives of the Victoire Ingabire faction of the divided FDU-Inkingi have been organizing meetings in Europe and North America to enlist support.
According to the former FDLR commander, Gahima and Rudasingwa’s Rwanda National Congress (RNC) believes this approach will help gain sympathy for FDLR.
While the meeting resolved to set up a structure in South Africa to co-ordinate their propaganda, it was overshadowed by questions from ex-FAR commanders who wondered whether Kayumba and Karegyeya would be reliable given the senior positions they occupied in the Government of Rwanda.
Lt. Col. Bisengimana disclosed that the ex-FAR representatives’ cynical view of Kayumba and Karegeya was a reflection of Sylvestre Madacumbura’s declaration that while he is prepared to work with the Rwandan fugitives in the short term, if he ever succeeded in returning to Rwanda, he would never work with the Tutsis.
A UN Security Council Group of Experts’ report, last year, revealed that both Kayumba and Karegyeya have strong links with the FDLR and were involved with armed groups in the DRC.
Regional security chiefs, representing the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), disclosed that the fugitives, Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegyeya, have formed a new armed group based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with the aim of destabilizing the region.
Kayumba, Karegeya, Gahima and Rudasingwa were sentenced to prison, after they were found guilty of forming a terrorist group, threatening state security, undermining public order, promoting ethnic divisions and insulting the person of the President of the Republic.
Bisengimana, who surrendered a weapon he returned with, was received, along with his comrade, John Munyangeyo, by officials from the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission,.
“I was forced to surrender because of internal fighting within our force based on sectarianism and nepotism by General Sylvester Mudacumura our commander,” Bisengimana said.
The 42 year old who joined the army in 1989 was in charge of political and ideological education, as well as mobilizing civilian support and recruitment.
“Mudacumura has brought in people from his home area and given them the authority to do whatever they please and he will not listen to any other views,” added Bisengimana.
Bisengimana, whose area of operation was Masisi in eastern DRC, said that he decided to quit the terrorist outfit after an order to arrest him was issued.
“Our commander sent out an order to get me arrested accusing me of disgracing the FDLR but I was informed by some of my colleagues and escaped. I would have been killed,” Bisengimana said.
He explained his delayed surrender to the lack of information about the true situation in Rwanda, since FDLR soldiers are kept in bondage without any knowledge of the outside world and only being fed on the genocide ideology.
“I do encourage all my comrades who are still in the ranks of FDLR to abandon the bush and return home, since the Rwandan government prefers peace to war,” Bisengimana said.
The colonel said his family lives in Uganda and he is thinking of the appropriate time to have them join him in Rwanda.
In the last three months, Bisengimana has been the fourth senior officer with a rank of Colonel to surrender and return to Rwanda.