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DRC confronts collaboration with FDLR: Army issues warning to soldiers

By IGIHE
On 22 November 2023 at 11:25

The Congolese Army (FARDC) has made a surprising announcement, acknowledging its association with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and cautioning soldiers against collaborating with this terrorist group, formed by individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This revelation surprised many people, especially considering that it has been two years since the Congolese Army formed a coalition with FDLR and other armed groups during clashes with the M23 rebel group.

Notably, certain Congolese leaders have expressed empathy for FDLR combatants, referring to them as comrades. President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has, on occasion, downplayed the threat posed by FDLR combatants, even suggesting support for those with intentions to overthrow Rwanda’s leadership.

In a statement delivered by FARDC Spokesperson Gen Major Sylain Ekenge last night, soldiers were sternly warned against collaborating with FDLR, with severe punishments promised for those found in violation of the order.

This unexpected development is drawing attention, and some observers link it to a recent visit by the United States Intelligence Chief, Avril Haines, to Kinshasa. During this visit, Haines met with President Tshisekedi, following her discussions in Kigali, Rwanda, where she engaged with President Paul Kagame and other government officials to de-escalate tensions between Rwanda and the DRC.

The United Nations Group of Experts report on the security situation in eastern DRC had earlier highlighted an apparent collaboration between FDLR and FARDC, shedding light on the complexities of the situation.

The M23 rebel group claims to have captured FDLR combatants dressed in FARDC military uniforms, attesting to the close alliance between the Congolese army and this terrorist outfit.

Additionally, Corneille Nangaa, the former Chairperson of the electoral body in the DRC, has recently disclosed the integration of some FDLR combatants into the guards of President Felix Tshisekedi.

Some of FDLR combatants captured during clashes between FARDC and M23.

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