The 2004 “Country Reports on Terrorism” released on April 27, 2005, by the US, brought to light that FDLR, the DRC-based notorious anti-Rwanda genocidal group was designated among the top forty Foreign Terrorist Organizations; a move that prompted the then Bush administration to blacklist FDLR, a decision which is still in force as of today.
Seventeen years down the road, it beats everyone’s understanding of why the International Community continues to keep dead silent on FDLR, yet the latter has never ceased to commit horrendous crimes which the U.S scrutinized and came up with a conclusion to blacklist the genocidal and terrorist group and its bigwigs.
To everyone’s surprise, when it comes to the conflicts in DR Congo, especially the ongoing civil war in which the FDLR is fighting alongside the country’s army (FARDC) against the M23 rebels, the very same international community is quick to accuse Rwanda of the “responsibility” while deliberately ignoring the issues of the FDLR that have been there for decades.
FDLR is majorly comprised of remnant masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi who at different times plotted hit-and-run attacks on Rwandan soil. Among them is the 2019 fatal attacks not forgetting the recent bombing incidents that brought about multiple damages in the Northern parts of the country.
Speaking on France 24 last Friday, President Kagame called out the international community to consider breaking its silence on the rampant crimes that FDLR commits. “We have talked about it (FDLR’s problem) for so many years but why don’t people listen?” inquired the president.
Adding: “ Have these parties decided that this problem should remain forever and expect that there would be no consequences for the actions of this FDLR carried out against Rwanda, do you think these people are serious?”
Giving the FDLR a semblance of legitimacy, notwithstanding the history and the gravity of its continued crimes won’t help solve DRC’s internal socio-political issues.
The international community should step in now that Congolese authorities are cagey to divorce themselves from the blacklisted genocidal and terrorist groups for the authority’s political gains.
The status quo has to change as far as regional stability and criminal accountability are concerned.