MUTOBO — A former combatant of the FDLR rebel force who was captured during the ongoing joint military operation by DR Congo and Rwandan forces against the rebel army has recounted his experience in the bush.
Jean Baptiste Ndayizeye, a former FDLR military Intelligence officer, Sabena Brigade in Rutsuru Zone was captured on the first day of the operation code named ‘Umoja Wetu’.
In an interview with The New Times at Mutobo Demobilisation Centre, Ndayizeye said he was disappointed with the rebel propaganda and regretted the time he wasted and the atrocities committed within the DRC jungles. He accuses rebel commanders of misleading them.
“We were told that whoever returned would be either killed or sent to jail, we hardly got true information about Rwanda, or from our families because of the nature of our operations within the jungles of Congo,’’ he narrated.
Ndayizeye said that the commanders had assured them that negotiations aimed at guaranteeing their security were underway with the government of Rwanda.
According to him, those who are still holed up in Walikale Zone, which is the main base, cannot access telephone network or local radio transmission, ‘otherwise many would have known the truth and defected.’
He admitted that the joint operation will weaken the rebels and is an opportunity for those who had been blocked from defecting to do so.
Ndayizeye was captured as he crossed towards Goma in an attempt to meet Congolese soldiers with whom he had been sharing intelligence.
It was a surprise, he says, because, ‘they were in the process of drawing the war plan for their campaigns against anti-Government forces such as the CNDP.’
The joint operation was launched a fortnight ago following series of atrocities committed by these elements largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Meanwhile, over 500 Rwandans who have been living behind FDLR rebels’ lines have so far been rescued and returned home since the joint military operation started.