The International Crisis Group (ICG) has suggested that DRC and Rwanda as well as the international community must formulate a new comprehensive strategy to dismantle the FDLR rebellion.
In its July 9 report titled, “Congo: A Comprehensive Strategy to Disarm the FDLR,” the international lobby organization suggests the parties must act or face continuing regional instability.
“While they (FDLR) are militarily too weak to destabilise Rwanda, their 6,000 or more combatants, including a number of génocidaires, still present a major political challenge for consolidation of peace in the Great Lakes region,” the group says in their report.
The report recommends that the militias “must be disarmed and demobilised if the eastern Congo is to be stabilized.”
“That requires a new comprehensive strategy involving national, regional and international actors, with a clear division of labour and better coordination, so as to take advantage of the recent improvement of relations between the Congo and Rwanda.”
Prominent components in the ICG suggestion include a reformed disarmament and demobilisation programme involving psychological operations and informational campaigns as well as options for return or resettlement (including in third countries).
Also crucial is – legal initiatives in third countries to block propaganda and support from FDLR leaders outside the DRC.
The ICG stresses that since the Congolese national army and MONUC lack the capacity and political will to carry out an effective military operation to dismantle the FDLR chain of command, “continuation of Congo-Rwanda military collaboration is also essential.”
Currently, both the Congolese army and MONUC have embarked on an operation against the FDLR, a group whose members are largely responsible for the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The operation dubbed ‘Kimya II’ has however faced stiff resistance from the FDLR.
ICG also called for the destruction of the political leadership of the FDLR which is mainly made up of individuals living in Europe.
The topmost leader of the militia group, Ignace Murwanashyaka has for years lived in Germany and is subject to international sanctions.