Speaking to the youth from diaspora early this month, Gen Kabarebe reflected on formation and weakness of FDLR highlighting that the rebel group’s doomsday is nearing.
“Genocidaire soldiers fled to neighboring Zaire, current Democratic Republic of Congo where they formed ALIR rebel group which later birthed FDLR. The rebel group attacked Rwanda at different times in 1996 and 1997 until 2001,” he said.
Gen Kabarebe explained that the rebel outfit led by divisive politics was split into different groups based on places of origin.
“The rebel group comprised of remnant masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi is based in DRC. Due to divisive politics, it was later split into different groups based on places of origin. Those calling themselves ‘Abakiga’ with intensions to attack from the Northern part of the country stayed in FDLR while those calling themselves ‘Abanyenduga’ led by Rusesabagina and Wilson Irategeka moved to Southern Kivu region and raided Rwanda through Nyungwe,” he noted.
“They were mired in divisive politics and split them into groups based on likely differences. Those who fled to Burundi attacked Rwanda from Nyungwe but majority of forces that stayed in Congo were subjected to attacks and were defeated by FARDC which sent approximately 330 to Rwanda. The remaining small number of rebels who escaped to Burundi started raiding Rwanda through Nyungwe Park,” added gen Kabarebe.
He further observed that their doomsday is closer considering the fact that Burundian soldiers launched operations against these rebels.
“They were defeated as days went by. Burundi soldiers recently launched attacks against these rebels and arrested some of them. To this end, I can only conclude that they are on the verge of defeat. Their doomsday is coming closer because their forces in Southern Kivu have been defeated while those who survived were sent here currently undergoing rehabilitation programmes at Mutobo center,” he said.
“Those attacking from Nyungwe Park were repelled by Rwanda’s soldiers and returned to Burundi. However, Burundi soldiers are also hunting them. So, they are in last days,” added Gen Kabarebe.
FDLR rebel outfit is comprised of remnants of masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi who at different times plotted hit-and-run attacks to Rwanda and repelled back.
After Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) currently Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) soldiers won the liberation struggle, soldiers of former Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) fled to Eastern DRC forests where they formed the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) that birthed the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
Since 2019, Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) has been plotting attacks to disarm terror groups operating in DRC forests that saw some members killed and others extradited to Rwanda.
These include top military commanders like Juvénal Musabyimana alias Jean-Michel Africa while Col. Nshimiyimana Asifiwe Manudi was arrested.
Gen. Sylvestre Mudacumura, the chief of the FDLR rebel group which has been operating in Eastern DRC for many years was also killed in September 2019.
Mudacumura was killed with his deputies including Col Serge, Col Soso Sixbert, and his secretary Maj Gaspard among others while more 15 fighters were arrested.
Disarmament of rebel groups in Eastern DRC has been among priorities since President Antoine Felix Tshisekedi took over from Joseph Kabila Kabange.
Tshisekedi made the pledge, few days after FARDC launched operations to quell rebel outfits in the region.
These efforts led to the killing and arrest of hundreds members of terror groups against the Government of Rwanda operating in DRC forests. These include FDLR, RUD-Urunana FLN and RNC.
Following the arrest and deaths of top military commanders, FDLR lost some of its strongholds.
Some of arrested commanders include Marc Nizeyimana from FLN while the group’s top commander Lt Gen Wilson Irategeka was killed along with his lieutenants in FARC attacks.