The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) has begun to withdraw from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo after weeks of joint operations with the Congolese army against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
It is apparent that the operation has scored tremendous success and the two national armies have managed to rout many elements of the FDLR. It was reported that the rebel military chief is on the run and his forces in disarray.
Though the RDF has started to withdraw, it is important that the operations against the FDLR continue until the genocidal rebel group is defeated once and for all.
Moreover, should there be a complete departure of the joint forces from the villages they have captured from the FDLR; there is a high likelihood of a backlash against the civilian population by the genocidal militia.
It is refreshing to learn from the spokesman of “Umoja Wetu” saying that the Congolese army will continue operations against the FDLR.
But it is also important that the two armies create a long standing relationship that is aimed at the total defeat of the remnants of the FDLR still at large.
It ought to be remembered that the FDLR enjoys support from sponsors who do not necessarily live in Congo. These supporters, some of whom are the group’s political leaders live in Europe and North America, where they continue to mobilize funds and carry out propaganda campaigns in international media.
The operation against the FDLR should also be extended to these elements as a way of ending the group’s ability to make war and kill civilians.