By Onesphore Sematumba
1. Who are the FDLR?
A shapeless entity, a “state within a state,” a phenomenon – there are a lot of descriptions in the Congo for the “Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda” (FDLR). At the core of the FDLR is the former Rwandan army (ex-Forces Armées Rwandaises = ex-FAR), defeated in 1994 along with the Interahamwe militia, the ‘vanguard’ of the genocide in Rwanda that year. Since 1996 they have been joined by young recruits from the Rwandan refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who after 1997 withdrew to the forests and mountains of eastern Congo.