US remarks on FDLR welcome but its time for decisive action

Editor, I fervently want to believe that Russ Feingold and his government truly want to finally see the complete and expeditious end of the FDLR.


Allow me to react to the article, “No negotiations with FDLR, says US envoy” (The New Times, August 6).

I fervently want to believe that Russ Feingold and his government truly want to finally see the complete and expeditious end of the FDLR. This is the minimum precondition for security and peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, without which there can never be any sustained socio-economic development in the country or for the region to attain its full development potential.

However, I will only believe it when I see concrete efforts to dismantle this genocidal band of killers, not empty declarations of which we have had many over the last almost twenty years in which they have been allowed to occupy large swathes of eastern DR Congo from where they continue to threaten to return to finish the “work” of genocide which they were not allowed to complete in 1994.

The presence at the helm of UN operations in the DR Congo of Hervé Ladsous, the key French diplomat who facilitated the UN Security Council’s endorsement of France’s Operation Turquoise to enable the genocidal machinery to relocate wholesale into eastern DR Congo, cannot but be a source of skepticism regarding the UN’s will to truly end the FDLR menace once and for all.

The clear reluctance of Martin Kobler, and the clear partiality of some leaders within this region for the FDLR means that Senator Feingold’s anti-FDLR declarations and the more meaningful signals on the ground are at variance with each other.

But we Rwandans are nothing if not perennial optimists; we will give these declarations the benefits of doubt. But the jury is out; we will believe what we see, not what we hear.

Mwene Kalinda,


Russ Feingold’s statement rhymes well with the Government of Rwanda’s stand on the handling of confused political dissidents.

In the past, all African governments have same approached the so-called political opponents with power sharing as the only solution in total disregard of their (dissidents’) agenda. If the political agenda of a political opponent is destruction of the population, to me, at no time should such be given a chance for negotiation.

President Kagame has often times laughed off, with contempt the same mediocre advice of negotiations and power sharing, because he, just like other Rwandans know what FDLR want (resuming the extermination of Tutsi). As long as they do not denounce their genocide ideology, FDLR remains the same.

We therefore thank President Kagame and the visionary government that he leads being consistent and firm in the way they have handled the FDLR issue.

If you want to destroy a people, there are others who want to save them.

The truth is that destruction in whatever form is unacceptable. I wish FDLR could openly come out and make a statement that the hatred and murder of the Tutsi is unacceptable to them.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth”.

James Munanura,



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