1 février 2015
Today FDLR is the center of political dramas from the United Nations to The US department of States to the European Union… But way before that, FDLR had been declared virtually destroyed, neutralized, and disbanded, or whatever fancy strategic term chosen by those who vowed to end its existence. Or so they thought.
There have been many operations since the fall of the deposed Congolese leader Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997. FDLR’s reincarnation during Laurent kabila’s regime has been proven elusive.
In 2001 shortly after Laurent kabila assassination, UN, United States and the then new president Joseph Kabila, conspired to exterminate FDLR units in Kamina military Complex where they were serving as “Forces Speciales “ to his late father’s campaign against Tutsi Armies from Rwanda and Uganda.
Led by The current FDLR-FOCA commander Gen Mudacumura, outgun and outnumbered FDLR slept out of the trap and escaped with few loses, inflicting heavy casualties on assailants.
Gen Mudacumura and his men alongside their families took it to the jungles and deep rivers back toward the east, in the journey that took three months to reach where they are today, in eastern Congo.
At the same time In East, The current FDLR interim president Gen Byiringiro was one of the leaders of what was known as “Abacengezi” inside Rwanda.
He was among the hardcore warriors that fought the well-equipped Rwandan Defense Forces, and often defeated them, until RDF begun decimating Hutu civilians in Northern Rwanda, forcing Gen Byiringiro to abandon his campaign for another day.
In one instance, a family that arranged for Gen Byiringiro to meet his wife and children, was later apprehended and murdered by Rwandan defense Forces. It was a family of seven children along with their parents.
That’s how Rwandan Tutsi government claims to have beaten FDLR. Not through Military tactics; Or winning hearts and minds, but through terror and mass murders. All that have never been covered by any mainstream media.
Now here we are after fifteen years, FDLR is more outspoken more than ever before. Deals are signed every day to destroy the so called FDLR, but why is so hard to do so, with such immense intellectual and logistical resources involved? Like I mentioned in my documentary there is no such thing as Armed Organization FDLR. And why do I say that?
The FDLR is made up of ordinary people driven to be free from extermination. They are not fighting for a territory or a strategic point on the map. And that is the reason why UN tanks and armored vehicles you see always parading to hunt FDLR can’t achieve any type of victory.
FDLR is not seeking to wage war to anyone. Even though FDLR is very skilled in doing so, taking a non-aggressive position made it very unpredictable.
Unlike Rwandan Tutsi rebels who are always seeking body counts from both Congolese and Hutus refugees, FDLR has made friends and alliances in region. Even if the government of Congo would want to do attack FDLR elements, locals will likely not facilitate that. Making Congolese offensive against FDLR ineffective at any given time.
FDLR has no military bases. This is simply because they have no conventional organized units. They are flexible, and independently operational. Even though the Central Command is there, in reality each small unit is capable of planning and executing their own peace, Support or Combat operations.
This makes anyone looking to destroy FDLR blind and confused. Unlike M23 or any other Rwanda units, FDLR will offer virtually no target for either artillery or air attack.
Numbers. FDLR numbers are not a factor. It’s almost impossible to count something so fluid and militarily undefined. Since Rwandan Tutsi dominated government waged war on its own Ethnic Group HUTU, Any young Hutu is very eager to join at any given moment.
Among 250,000 refugees in Congo, they are at least 50,000-80,000 women and men fit to fight, by the way trained by the Rwandan government itself during the last 20 years they have been chasing and killing Hutus families in DRC.
Outside of DRC they are even more men and women who can’t wait to put their lives on line of duty. Not forgetting Tutsis who are fed up by their leaders in Kigali, and who have witnessed their government exterminating Hutus with impunity, as well as their fellow Tutsis. I have spoken to many fine young Tutsi officers in RDF, who have expressed their will to join FDLR, just to get rid of RPF in Kigali.
Last but no least, is the dedication and determination FDLR members have continue to display. Refusing to surrender by Gen Mudacumura and his men in Kamina, while they were outgunned and outnumbered more than 3:1 ratio, to Crossing the border into Rwanda by Gen Byiringiro and his few good men willingly to die for their cause.
Both of those examples and many more should make everyone understand how far are the FDLR partisans willingly to go in order to attain their objectives.
Fellow readers, the immortality of FDLR lies in their “Noble Cause”. The people behind it, and the spirit of freedom. No gun big enough, no special forces skilled enough will ever shake that dynamic.
It is so strong now that it had spread all over the region. Congolese young men have joined, new blood and mutual ties have been established, and some wise leaders in region have begun to listen.
The only motivated people to hunt FDLR, are the supremacist Tutsis in Coalition made up by the Rwandan government, their Ugandan counterparts as well as some Tutsis Officers who still roaming in Congolese Forces. In reality FDLR is winning the “Attrition warfare” waged by Kigali against them.
Jean Paul Rugero Romeo