BY GASHEEGU MURAMILA AND FLORENCE MUTESI
KIGALI –The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDRL) rebels will be phased out with intensive regional pressure, a senior aide to President Paul Kagame has said.FDRL is one of the negative forces operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and many of its members are accused of playing part in the 1994 Genocide which claimed at least one million lives.
Dr Richard Sezibera, President Kagame’s special envoy to the Great Lakes Region, said yesterday:
“DRC is going to intensify military pressure on these groups and there will be regular regional meetings to evaluate progress. I think this problem will come to an end.”
He was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop on the role of the civil society in the implementation of the peace, stability and development pact under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region at Hotel Novotel Umubano.
Military chiefs of Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and DRC met in Kigali early this week under the auspices of the Tripartite Plus Joint Commission (TPJC), to devise mechanisms of dealing with the negative forces.
The army chiefs resolved that the Congolese government resume military operations against FDRL and other rebel groups holed up on their territory.
Last month, Kinshasa halted operations against the militias citing humanitarian reasons and lack of resources.
Sezibera, who is also the national coordinator for the International Conference on the Great Lakes region, underscored the role of civil society in combating armed conflicts in the region.
He charged that the local population in DRC can either fuel or help in bringing peace because they have close contacts with the rebels.
He urged civil society groups to contribute ideas towards government’s successful implementation to ensure peace and stability.
“The civil society played a key role in having this pact in place and we think that they will do the same in having it’s intended impact on the ground,” Sezibera said.
The pact was signed by Heads of State from eleven participating states.
The countries are Rwanda, Uganda, DR Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic and Kenya. Others are Burundi, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia and Congo Brazzaville.
The New Times