FDLR combatants confirm collaboration with Congolese Army

By Musangwa Arthur
On 14 December 2022 at 02:47

Fighters of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) captured by M23 rebel group have confirmed collaboration with Congolese Army (FARDC).

FDLR is a terrorist group formed by individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda has been raising concerns over the collaboration but the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continued to feign innocence.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC, Christophe Lundula, recently told the United Nations Security Council that his country encouraged people to share information about the whereabouts of FDLR commanders based in Congo or collaboration with the FARDC to attack Rwanda for authentication.

"It’s been three months and we are still waiting," he said.

However, FDLR did not stop highlighting this partnership which deepened roots after the resurgence of M23.

Released videos showing FDLR fighters captured by M23 reveal more about the terrorist group and collaboration with FARDC.

Warrant Officer Innocent Uwamungu is among FDLR combatants captured during a fighting that took place in the last few days in Rutare, near Paris, on the way to Tongo.

He says that he was born in former Mutura Commune in Gisenyi Prefecture.

"They apprehended on the battlefield. I am an FDLR combatant," he said.

Warrant Officer Uwamungu worked in the secretariat of General Pacifique Ntawunguka alias Omega, who took over as the commander of the military wing (FDLR-FOCA) after the assassination of Sylvestre Mudacumura.

Uwamungu disclosed that he joined the FDLR from Masisi, although he had arrived there from refugee camps in the forests of Congo in 1996.

Uwamungu listed commanders of the FDLR living in Congo including its commander Lt Gen Iyamuremye Gaston alias Byiringiro known as Victor Rumuri, Gen Omega, his deputy Gen Mugisha, Secretary-General Gen Gakwerere, Gen Uwimbabazi Sebastien alias Nyembo Kimenyi in charge of intelligence, Gen Matovu, Gen Manzi, Gen Serge, Gen Calme, and Gen Poète.

"I was part of a group led by Circophe, operating in Kazaroho. There is another led by Colonel Oreste in Gwindi through other areas to Paris, and the battalion of Colonel Ruhinda operating in Rugari," he revealed.

Like his colleagues, this FDLR fighter also answered in Kinyarwanda as he was interrogated by Major Willy Ngoma, M23 military spokesperson.

Responding to why they were wearing FARDC uniform, Uwamungu said: “We work with FARDC during the battle. We also work with Nyatura and train its fighters.”

Uwamungu said that FDLR depends on agriculture and collection of taxes to buy ammunition and medicines.

Private Safari Mbitse, another captured combatant was born in DRC and has never arrived in Rwanda.

The spokesperson for M23 asked where they get the military equipment, to which he answered, "It is the FARDC that sends them."

First Sergeant Uwiduhaye Marie Chantal also said that she was born in Gisenyi. Both her father and mother were born in Rwerere.

Dieumerci Birihanze Jacques is another captured combatant born in Congo but his parents hail from Rwanda.

Among the people captured together with the FDLR was Pastor Niyonzima Jean Damascene, who said he provided the FDLR with intelligence information.

He was born in the former Commune Kinyami in Byumba Prefecture and left in 1994.

Niyonzima said that he was the ’Assistant Bourgmestre’ before leaving the country.

He said that he needs support to return to his motherland."

Others arrested include Uwase Diane, Nzamatikazu Consolata and Nyiramahirwe Esperance.

According to analysts, FDLR continued to spread genocide ideology after arriving in DRC and fueled massacres in the country.

There are growing concerns that Genocide against Tutsi Congolese is being planned and executed gradually.

Some of FDLR fighters captured by M23.