Leaked UN Report now reveals DRC is collaborating with FDLR rebel group

Soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) patrol Goma and Rutshuru areas in the country's restive North Kivu province in the past. FILE PHOTO | REUTERS

KINSASHA - The Democratic Republic of Congo has been accused of cooperating with armed rebel forces in Northern Kivu.

In a new leaked report by the United Nations Group of Experts on DRC, the Tsishekendi’s government has been working together with the rebel FDLR group in battling the e M23 rebels.

President Paul Kagame’s administration has always accused the DRC government of cooperating with the terrorist group FDLR, whose members are suspects of genocide crimes in Rwanda.

Yolande Makolo, the Rwandese government spokesperson, wrote on Twitter.

“The UN Group of Experts Report on DRC leaked to the media vindicates what Rwanda has consistently. The Congolese army (FARDC) continues to directly support several irregular armed groups, and in particular works/fights closely with the Rwandan genocidal militia FDLR.”

Recently M23 captured FDLR soldiers who admitted to working with the Congolese army.

“We work with FARDC in wartime,” Innocent Uwamungu, one of the FDLR captives, told M23 officers.

In a separate scenario, another FDLR fighter said the FARDC provided them with ammunition and uniforms.

The UN experts report recommends the DRC government take all measures to prevent cooperation between FARDC elements and armed groups, notably in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories.

The UN group of experts said they had documented “a worrying proliferation of xenophobia and hate speech inciting discrimination, hostility, and violence” targeting Kinyarwanda-speaking populations, in particular, the Banyamulenge and Tutsi communities, who are accused of supporting the M23.

The report further says the Banyamulenge and Tutsi populations “reported being told, including by some FARDC members that they were not citizens of the mineral-rich country.

The UN experts said the anti-Tutsi or anti-Rwanda rhetoric has led to acts of violence, including killings. They documented incidents of targeted violence and public lynching of Rwandophone individuals.

The UN experts report says the rhetoric has spread nationwide at the hands of political and military leaders as well as members of civil society.

In particular, the report mentions Aba Van Ang, the North Kivu deputy police commissioner, who has “incited civilians to take machetes ‘against the enemy” and Justin Bitakwira, a former minister, who “called for every Congolese to identify ‘infiltrators’.


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