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FDLR 'rebel ideology' undermines peace says Rwandan minister

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwandan officials said Tuesday FDLR rebels’ continuous spread of the genocide ideology undermines national peace and security despite the rebels’ weak military might at the moment.

The FDLR is not a military threat to Rwanda in term of military might and capacity, Defense Minister James Kabarebe said before a parliamentary standing committee to brief lawmakers on state of national security and territorial integrity.

"But the assessment we have made is that their tactic of disseminating genocide ideology among Rwandans could be a major security threat, not only to Rwanda but to the entire region," Kabarebe said.

The FDLR, he added, has mastered the art of spreading genocide ideology, a practice some of their top leaders have done since 1950s.

He noted that the failure of the FDLR to launch a conventional military action, has rather made them resort to terrorism acts as well as spreading genocide ideology, which does not need powerful armory and many troops.

Their tactics or terrorism, he said, requires a few mutineers to perform such insurgencies, this reflects two things—military weaknesses while showing their cruel intentions.

Since December 2009 to January 2014, spate of terror attacks blamed on FDLR and their terrorism partners—Rwanda National Congress (RNC) -- amounted to about 36 grenade explosions reported in Rwanda, Kabarebe said.

The insurgencies claimed 21 people and injured 460.

The minister said the terror tactic could be an idea owned by RNC, using FDLR to execute the mission.

Kabarebe blamed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) for failing to guarantee peace and security to Rwanda and harboring the FDLR for the past 20 years.

The Jan. 2 deadline given to the FDLR by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the United Nations Security Council to voluntarily disarm or face military action was ignored.

The minister expressed frustration that a month after the deadline passed nothing has been done to disarm them.

Kabarebe, however, pointed out that despite terrorism and other security threats in the region, posed by FDLR in Rwanda and 'al-Shabab' in Kenya, Rwanda enjoys unprecedented level of peace and security.

Congolese President Joseph Kabila has been under much international pressure to approve plans for a joint military action by the government army (FARDC) and the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade, which has an offensive mandate from the UN Security Council.

FARDC announced late January a fresh offensive against the Rwandan rebels after weeks of heavy international pressure to act.

But the announcement was seen as propaganda in Rwanda.

FDLR elements are blamed for taking part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when more than a million people were killed, mainly from the Tutsi minority.


Burundi to investigate alleged extra-judicial killings of captives

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundi has set up an inquiry commission to investigate alleged extra-judicial killings of captives who were captured during a cross-borer attack by unidentified rebels against the central African nation earlier in January.

Burundian Attorney General Valentin Bagorikunda said in a press briefing on Friday the inquiry commission will be available to listen to anyone who would provide "useful information" about the alleged extra-judicial killings during the fighting between the army and the rebels.

"We have set up an inquiry commission made up by three magistrates that will investigate the alleged extra-judicial killings of gunmen captured during the Cibitoke fighting that occurred from Dec. 31, 2014 to Jan. 3, 2015," said Bagorikunda.

Burundian Army Spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza said earlier that during the four-day fighting between Burundian soldiers and the rebels arriving from the DR Congo at Cibitoke province in northwestern Burundi, at least 99 people lost their lives, including 95 rebels, two soldiers and two civilians.

It is reported that the killings also included some of the captured rebel combatants.

According to Bagorikunda, the inquiry commission should issue its report within one month.


Rwanda and DRC seek repatriation of former M23 Congo rebels

UN chief urges decisive action against armed rebel group FDLR



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