Rwanda: only 24% rebels disarm by deadline, regional leaders to decide military actions 

Weapons handed over by FDLR in Buleusa auNord-Kivu

Kigali (Rwanda), Jan 6: With the fact that only 337 (24%) out of estimated 1,400 armed rebels of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have surrendered by the deadline of Jan 2, African leaders of Great Lakes region are meeting to decide on launching military actions against the Rwandan rebels.

The meeting to be held in Luanda, Congo, on Jan 15-16 is expected to decide military actions against the Rwandan rebels responsible for 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

South Africa‘s President Jacob Zuma, head of the security arm of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), announced the summit on Sunday.

SADC, the DRC government, Rwanda, the United Nations (UN), the United states (US) and the European Union (EU) have all agreed that the rebels have failed to meet an ultimatum to demobilize by January 2.

Both Zuma and the DRC justice minister, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, point out that 337 FDLR fighters – about a quarter of the total – have surrendered so far. But Rwanda and the UN, U.S. and EU envoys to the Great Lakes region say that the FDLR has used a six-month breathing space given by the ultimatum to recruit more combatants, reports said.

Zuma said in his Sunday statement that leaders of SADC and states of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) will meet on January 15 and 16 to decide on “the appropriate action to be taken following the expiry of the deadline”.

In the meantime, he appealed to the FDLR and its remaining combatants “to immediately and unconditionally present themselves for disarmament”.

He added that SADC remains committed to the internationally-mandated objective of neutralising all negative forces operating in the DRC, including the FDLR, and remains ready to play its fullest role in this regard.

The Oslo Times



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