‘DRC answerable for Interahamwe attacks’

BY FELLY KIMENYI Rwanda has said that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should be held accountable for the continued atrocities committed by the ex-Far and Interahamwe militias against Congolese civilians.
Presidential Special envoy for the Great Lakes Region Dr. Richard Sezibera said yesterday that Kigali has always made it clear that the ball is in DRC’s court to ensure that Interahamwe problem was dealt with once and for all. He was reacting to reports that the militias had attacked a Congolese village over the weekend making off with dozens of goats, cloths and about $750. “There is nothing to ask Rwanda about, we made our position clear way before citing how dangerous those people are. Ask the Congolese instead,” Sezibera said yesterday. Rwanda has persistently called upon the international community to act on the insurgents, who are largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide in which over one million lives perished. According to agencies, the militiamen who are affiliated to the ‘Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda’ (FDLR) armed with crude weapons and machetes pillaged about 17 homes on Saturday at mid-night before leaving with cooking utensils and left people helpless reeling for their property. Meanwhile, the Congolese government forces announced Saturday that all offensives against the FDRL rebels by the Congolese army would be suspended following intervention from the UN mission in the country – MONUC and the international community. Critics of the operations fear they are targeted campaigns against Hutus. “The FDLR problem is that there are Congolese Hutus and Rwandan Hutus that are killing. When there are operations, Congolese Hutus, North Kivu politicians, the Nande people and other tribes say we are carrying out Genocide against Congolese and Rwandan Hutus,” General Amisi Tango – head of DRC land forces was recently quoted as having said. Victims of the Saturday attack said the assailants moved from house to house for about 30 minutes taking with them goats, chicken, cloths and money from every house. One Kasereka Mukosa Senge, head of a local primary school and Father Jean-Marie Waevuta Luofu catholic parish, said the situation in the area is becoming very insecure by the day as rebels torment the locals without any intervention from the thousands of MONUC peacekeepers. The rebels on August 3 attacked a village in Kanungu District in the neighbouring Uganda, killing three people and destroying properties. ENDS
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