SHOOTING AT FDLR HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE A FUTILE EXERCISE

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This article is a pure perspective regarding the existence of FDLR and the effort of the International community to bring peace and stability in the great lakes region. It is my own view, I am not a spokesperson of any group of people or any party in the Rwandan opposition. I am an ordinary person who has suffered from the endless conflict in the great lakes region that started on the 1st October 1990. My intent to have a word on this suffering of humankind is to give a humble contribution to the people who are in forefront in seeking a lasting solution to the conflict in the great lakes region that has taken us more than 10 million of innocent people in the last two decades.

FDLR, Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (http://urugaga.org/?p=417&lang=fr), was formed in 2000 primarily to protect Rwandan refugees that were abandoned to the RPF sword since 1996. After RPF took power in Rwanda by force and forcing Rwandans to flee the country, many Rwandans took refuge in neighbouring countries including Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Many refugees were in DRC and the hell fell on them when RPA/RPF forces crossed the border to DRC to destroy their camps and repatriate them by force. This heinous act took place in 1996-7 and close to 300 000 Rwandan hutu refugees lost their lives, many were forced to go back home where they were tortured and nobody knows where RPF put them. It is absurd when this act of forcing refugees to return home was watched by the UN without any reaction. The international law of refugees and asylum seekers prohibits a forceful repatriation of individuals who still have fear of unlawful persecution in their country of origin.Is the law of jungle applied instead of this international law at some parts of this world(http://urugaga.org/?p=1149&lang=fr)?UN mapping report released in 2010 explains in detail the hell these people went through (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/RDCProjetMapping.aspx). This unimaginable killings took place after the carnage of Kibeho in Rwanda in 1995. The internally displaced persons, who were afraid of the killings of RPF soldiers in the villages, gathered atKibeho and they were close to 100 000 people. This was the largest camp of internally displaced people in the southern part of Rwanda. This camp was attacked by RPA/RPF soldiers using heavy weapons like mortars and machine guns and it was done in the eyes of UN peacekeepers from Australia and Zambia. The people who lost their lives reached 8000 people and the shooting was done indiscriminately (children, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick were killed).

FDLR are just refugees, even now it is known that in its military wing, most of them are under 35 years (>90%). The song of RPF/Kigali of looking for “genocidaires” is an old lie. Even if there might be suspect people of having committed crimes against humanity, the answer is not to kill refugees as it happened in 1996-7. A person is innocent till proven guilty. The investigation of the crimes committed against humanity should go under way following what is compiled in the UN mapping report released in 2010. This investigation should touch both sides, FDLR and RDF/RPF. The belief of the mighty is right all the time should be abandoned. We should combat the injustice that characterised the ICTR that tried only the people on the side of the government before 1994. This international court was partial, RPF soldiers were not investigated.The elders are the ones who have been struggling to find out how Rwandan refugees can survive in the eastern DRC forests in the early 2000s. It is well known that there have been numerous attacks where RDF/RPF and FARDC have been attacking these refugees. Countless refugees were killed in the forests and the remains are still lying on the hills and in the valleys. All this was done by these forces under UN watch without trying to find a political solution for voluntarily repatriation.

FDLR, made of refugees who stood firm to deny the pursuit of extermination of hutu refugees in DRC, has made clear that the political solution is needed to bring peace and stability in the region. They took a voluntarily contribution to this idea by deposing their weapons in front of the whole world and especially the regional bodies like SADC. The naked truth camps of Kanyabayonga (Noth Kivu), Walungu (South Kivu) and Kisangani have former FDLR freedom figthers (http://urugaga.org/?p=1069&lang=fr). This positive idea was rejected by the international community together with Rwandan government that still want to repatriate these refugees as it happened in 1996-7. FDLR has a genuine reason of refusing a forceful repatriation and this reason is based on a horrible human rights record of Rwandan government. People are still being shot in day light in Rwanda, forced disappearances are reported daily, Rwandans are still fleeing the country, and no strong democratic institutions in Rwanda where the ruling party RPF dictates what should be done. FDLR was asking a frank inclusive inter-Rwandan dialogue where all Rwandans should sit around the table and find a way forward to bring hope and trust to Rwandans. This would allow all refugees to return home and solve the refugee problem for good.

In DRC alone there are more than 245 000 refugees. There are other refugees in the neighbouring countries, Tanzanie, Uganda and Burundi. Other refugees are in other African countries, Congo Brazzaville, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Malawi, etc.  Rwandan refugees are everywhere in the world, Europe, America, Australia, etc. What prevents Rwandan refugees in DRC from returning home is not different from what prevents others elsewhere in the world. Why this international community and Rwandan government are mostly interested in DRC? FDLR is trying to embrace the problem of all refugees and Rwandans in general for a lasting peace and stability in the region. The fact that FDLR has a military wing for repelling attacks from Rwanda it should not be seen as a small group of a few thousands freedom fighters. It stands for all Rwandans who are being marginalised and forced to flee their country and all refugees who cannot go back home for fear of unlawful persecution. FDLR is part of the Rwandan opposition, its call is to allow an inclusive dialogue to deal with Rwandan problem politically. No one would like to see another war like the one in 1990-94. Many Rwandans have lost their loved ones and this should never be repeated. And the history has taught us that guns and ammunitions alone can never bring peace and stability, an example is Rwanda itself.

FDLR is harmless in the great lakes region

FDLR is known especially in defensive battles where RDF and FARDC soldiers have been launching futile attacks to kill innocent refugees and Congolese. These attacks created insecurity in the region and caused the exodus of people from one place to another. They created the misery to the Congolese community where criminality took place with numerous rape cases of women refugees and Congolese. It is absurd to see the international community repeating the same mistake over and over using approach of guns and ammunitions to solve a political problem. It is without saying that people who take these decisions do not take a moment of reflection of the fate of children, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick. Why on earth people can decide to repatriate refugees using guns and ammunitions?We will learn a lot in this world, do these people think other people are human beings too or they think that they are animals? You cannot keep on hunting people like animals and pretend that you are bringing peace and security in the region. Anyway, it has never worked for the last many years. Why do they want to try it again? I think they would try another approach and check whether they get the same results or not. But, when you repeat the same thing with no results people would think that you have other results you do not want to reveal to the public (maybe looting the natural resources of DRC, just guessing). There was a time Rwanda was listed the first producer of Coltan in the world, I doubt much if really Rwanda has enough Coltan to beat DRC.

Believe it or not, more than 245 000 Rwandan refugees have been abandoned by the UNHCR since 1996 in the eastern DRC forests without shelter, food, health facilities and education. Does the UNHCR sometimes abandon refugees in some parts of the world for 20 years?We can like it or not some will be judged by humanity. If you came into this world for a few years (mostly <100) and decide to live in it with such a discrimination, don’t you see that one day you will leave this world like the ones you ignored. In my understanding there is no difference except the one we create in our minds. A person is a person through other persons. This binds us for our self-realisation. These Rwandan refugees have been struggling to educate themselves, to take care of their children and voice their concerns to the rest of the world. But, very strange the mighty is right. You will hear that Enough project (American organisation, http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2015/01/can-fdlr-be-defeated-2015116183339237619.html) has a solution to the Rwandan problem of using guns and ammunitions like it happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.They will fail badly, God is on the side of the vulnerable.

Conclusion

It is advisable to the international community and African regional bodies to abandon the approach which never yielded results. Guns and ammunitions do not solve a political problem, they create misery to innocent people. And it might be tricky and difficult to handle the created chaos. They are many examples around the world. It happened in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya; people are still fighting after more than 10 years (in Afghanistan and Iraq). Which peace and democracy do we see in these countries? What we know are millions of people who are refugees in their region. And those who have been dying of numerous attacks of all kinds.

FDLR military wing has been active in defensive battles against numerous attacks from Rwanda. It is known that the armed groups like RCD, CNDP and M23 were supported by the Rwandan government. The goal of these armed groups was multi-fold and one goal was to make life impossible to Rwandan refugees so that they can be forced to return home where people are disappearing every day or getting killed (https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/16/rwanda-spate-enforced-disappearances). FDLR freedom fighters decided to lay down weapons to give a chance to a dialogue where the solution for the Rwandan political problem can be found. The use of guns and ammunitions continue to be the option of the mighty. But, this will create only unnecessary misery to innocent people and no expected results.

All Rwandans who love peace should stand as one to reject these solutions drafted outside our continent by UN and EU hoping that what never worked in the Middle East might work in the great lakes region. Let us say NO to the slaughter of our brothers and sisters and encourage a dialogue to be the route to be taken. We have lost many people and enough is enough.

International community that is seeking solution for an African problem should not impose their solution because their pocket is heavy. It should consult with the regional bodies (e.g. SADC – hosting many Rwandan refugees) to find an optimum solution which should not shed blood unnecessarily. African people might believe that shooting alone can never bring peace and stability people need. Please UN and EU do not try to show us that you know us better than we know ourselves.

May Love, Peace, solidarity and Compassion be our values in the great lakes region! May God continue to protect the weak and the vulnerable and guide those who are seeking the lasting solution to Rwandan political problem, so that they can abandon the bloody route of using guns and ammunitions!

Intabaza Reader,

David Rudatinya

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4 Responses to SHOOTING AT FDLR HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE A FUTILE EXERCISE

  1. kwihangana says:

    Let’say that I support kagame to take power in Kigali.un& unhcr working together to repatriate the refugees by good or bad.Failure does not give a chance to steal african resources, via minority because there will be not to much leakage of information like majority.Did you know that the nature arrange itself and Almight GOD will never allow you to carry the load with you can not persiste.very soon the nature is going to give us a good answer,just be strong.because that man can not live or sleep without hutu and tutsi,twa living peacefully under the same umbrella.

  2. basheija richard says:

    The shouting of people is not solution of resolving conflicts . the two need to seat together and discuss the matter. i agree with the writer. they should seat down and look for the cause of problem rather than using guns. God bless you. i pray for unity ,togetherness between Tutsi and Hutu in rwanda. one Rwanda one people.

  3. I agree with this writing 100%. Continue to stand with the truth one day we will win. Thank so much and PDLR must win as this proverb said “the quieter will never win and the winner will never quiet”.

  4. Lyinyu says:

    UN – MONUSCO, USA, UNHCR,FARDC, RDF, RPF, FPR,Inkotanyi,Kagome, Tony Brair, Clinton from USA, ect… all are going to kill hutu rwandans refugees who survived massacred and war in 1996-200 Zaire-Congo-Kinshasa. Now they are going to finish any little one who still alive?
    Fuck you beach. Those Trash are above their job is to eat human’s meat and to drink human’s blood. Nothing else.
    More over, Those white people they are cleaning-massacring Bantou’s people from Great Lakes Region in order to still all African minerals and all values from Africa. White People stiller, killer’s, evil, devil, Satanic’s, Rusoferi, Hell.
    White Peopl are going to live in afrika after they finished to kill all population that are in great Lakes region.
    white people always they kill Black people, always white people kill africains people. So, they can find enough human’s meat to eat and enough human’s blood to drink.

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